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If you are reading this, you have suffered a loss and have our condolences at LeonardLaw. After the death of a family member, credit and identity theft is likely not top of mind. However, this is a growing problem and it’s important to provide a death notice to credit bureaus to close accounts and to prevent the fraudulent use of credit cards that wrack up debt and claims against the estate. A death notice flags a person’s credit reports as “deceased – do not issue credit. Social Security may have placed the notice, but you need to ensure this. Social security will not request credit reports for you.

Steps to take

  • Contact Social Security Administration or confirm that the funeral home has done so
  • Place a death notice with either Equifax, Experian or TransUnion by mailing a copy of the death certificate. The one credit bureau you inform will notify the other two to impose a credit freeze
  • Request a credit report from all three – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion if you expect that fraud may have occurred or to gain information concerning debts and credit cards. This is very important if the deceased suffered from dementia

Information to Provide to Obtain a Credit Report

Information about the Deceased

  • Legal name
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Copy of the death certificate or letters testamentary
  • Last known address

Information about you

  • Legal documents demonstrating your authority
  • Your full name
  • Your address

The most prudent course is to send the documents via certified mail

See LeonardLaw’s resource page and probate/trust administration page for more information and links.

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