When you’re in charge of handling someone else’s estate, the list of tasks you have to manage can seem endless. One of those tasks involves canceling the deceased’s credit cards, automatic payments, subscriptions and other reoccuring charges.
Where do you start? First, obtain several copies of the deceased’s death certificate so that you can fax or mail them wherever necessary. Then, start tackling these accounts:
The credit cards
Get a free credit report on the deceased or check their wallet for any credit cards. Contact each credit card company and ask them to stop the card from being used any further purchases or automatic charges. The money due on each card will probably need to be paid from the estate before they’re cancelled, but you can stop them from being used and avoid collection efforts by letting the companies know what has occurred.
A lot of pharmacies have automatic prescription renewals — but that could lead to potential fraud if somebody who knows about the death decides to swing buy and pick up the deceased’s painkillers or something else. Let the pharmacy know to close the accounts and stop all refills.
Most people have a number of online accounts that are tied to their banks in some way. Close out any accounts for the deceased with websites like:
- Dating sites
- Gaming sites
- Sports sites
This will make it harder for online identity thieves to take over the deceased’s online persona.
If the deceased had a phone contract, you should cancel that as soon as possible. Otherwise, the company may continue to take payments from the deceased’s account. Contact the provider and provide the necessary documentation.
Estate administration is often a complicated, lengthy process. It can quickly get frustrating. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through it alone if you get the help of an experienced attorney.