How to Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft When a Loved One Dies.

Posted By Steven Adler || 18-Aug-2013

How to Reduce the Risk of

Identity Theft When a Loved One Dies

A new trend in identity theft - afterlife identity theft - is on the rise, with thieves scouring obituaries for personal information to steal the identities of those who have passed. When you lose a loved one, it is important to take quick action and notify a number of institutions and government agencies about the death to help prevent afterlife identity theft.

The National Funeral Directors Association provides a list of government and credit reporting agencies, creditors and banks for notification, including:

● Social Security Administration

● Veteran's Administration (formerly served in the military)

● Defense Finance and Accounting Service (military retiree benefits)

● Office of Personnel Management (former civil service employee)

● U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (decedent was not a US citizen)

● State Department of Motor Vehicles (decedent had a driver's license)

● Credit card and merchant card companies

● Banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions

● Mortgage companies and lenders

● Financial planners and stock brokers

● Pension providers

● Life insurers and annuity companies

● Health, medical and dental insurers

● Disability insurers

● Automotive insurer

● Mutual benefit companies

● All 3 credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion

● Any memberships held by the decedent (clubs, associations, etc.)

The NFDA recommends that you notify these entities first by phone followed by a written confirmation, where you will need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate, the decedent's Social Security number and, if you are the executor or administrator of an estate, the verification of your appointment by a probate court. Be sure to ask the funeral home you are using if they can provide notification services for you, as many do.

If you would like to have a talk about protecting your loved ones through estate planning, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $500 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I've made space for the balance of the month of August for you to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.