Identity theft protection services have become a big business in recent years. Many people are rightfully concerned about having their identity stolen and the resulting consequences and headaches. What many people don’t realize is that the threat of identity theft does not disappear when an individual passes away.
The recently deceased are a prime target for identity thieves. Credit agencies are not usually notified of a death for several months. Further, after the passing of a loved one, protecting the decedent’s identity is often far from the family’s mind.
Several steps should be taken to protect a deceased loved one from identity theft. The executor of a the decedent’s estate should send a certified copy of the death certificate to the three major credit reporting agencies and request that records are updated so that those requesting credit information will be notified of the passing. Any banks, financial institutions, or insurance companies where the decedent maintained accounts should also be notified and provided a copy of the death certificate. Lastly, the executor should continue to monitor the decedent’s credit report over the course of the next year.
No one like to discuss these issues, but we live in a world where dishonest people take advantage of the system and further complicate issues for the family of the deceased. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your local AlerStallings attorney.