How Do I Handle My Loved One’s Debt After They Pass?
If you are talking to funeral homes in Dickson, TN. about services for your loved one, you will have a lot on your mind. What to include in the memorial service, what type of urn to choose, and what to do with your loved one’s remains are just a few of the many issues you will have to decide and handle.
After the services have been planned, there will be other matters you may need to turn your attention to. Accounts such as credit cards, student loans, bank accounts, house payments, and more will all need to be addressed. Also, utilities, cell phone accounts, and miscellaneous subscription services will need to be managed.
While every person has different accounts, we are going to go over some of the most common as well as how to best address and manage them.
Credit Card Accounts
It is important to gather all the deceased’s credit card accounts so that you know what you need to manage. If you are on the cards or a surviving spouse, you may be able to request a full credit report.
Make sure the credit cards are not being used in any way after the person’s death. Sometimes families may use them for the funeral expenses and, even though they plan to make payments and their intentions are good, that is committing credit card fraud and can be punished by jail time.
Notify the credit card companies about the person’s passing as soon as you can. You will need to send them a copy of the death certificate so make sure to get multiple copies of it from the funeral home. Also, check to see if there are any reoccurring charges on the card such as subscriptions or other charges that will need to be taken care of before the account is closed.
Finally, contact the three credit bureaus and request a freeze to be put on the accounts. This will help against any future identity theft by not allowing anyone to open new credit cards in the deceased’s name or by using their social security number.
The three credit bureaus are:
Loans and Bank Accounts
Any other loans and accounts will be handled in much the same way. You will need to contact the bank or loan provider and talk with them about their individual processes for closing accounts. In most all cases, you will need to show or send them a death certificate so once again, make sure you have plenty of copies.
Also, the process will vary depending if you were on the account as well. For example, if you are on a joint bank account with the deceased, the bank, after verifying documents and such, may automatically put you as the sole owner of the account and no further action will be required.
Utilities, Cell Phones, and Other Miscellaneous Accounts
Most likely your loved one will have other accounts to be handled as well such as cell phone and utilities. The best thing to do here is to gather all of these bills and contact them one by one and see what their process is. If there is a lot to handle, consider enlisting a family member to help.
While it is never easy dealing with everything after a loved one passes, their accounts must be managed and taken care of. After you have talked to funeral homes in Dickson, TN., and your loved one’s services are planned, turning your attention to taking care of these accounts in a timely manner is the next course of action. Just know that, even though it can feel overwhelming at first, focusing on just one account at a time can help ease some of the stress.