Handling the Unexpected
the balance– It is something that is very tragic, and most people don’t typically want to think about, but unfortunately losing a spouse or a loved one happens. This was something that was not anticipated and may have caught you completely by surprise. This may leave you in charge of handling their estate. Some steps need to be taken in order to avoid frustrations and costly mistakes. Tisha Diffie, founder of After the Fact – Final Affairs, LLC, understands the challenge of having to handle the process correctly and has some helpful tips that will help get you through it.
5 Things That Should be Done Right Away
Tisha believes by getting these five things done will help prevent identity theft. By not doing this right away, it can catch up to you later.
- Call the three credit agencies and put a fraud alert on their Social Security number.
- Run a final credit report on the deceased from all three credit agencies.
- Keep the primary credit card and the deceased drivers’ license with you.
- Punch a hole in their driver’s license and passport.
- Get all the paperwork together for the insurance companies.
Outstanding items or open accounts can also leave you dealing with debt collectors. One of Tisha’s clients didn’t cancel anything, change names, or looked for missing money after her husband passed. This caused the client to receive collection notices, calls and letters. These types of instances can be overwhelming.
5 Things That Should Not be Done Right Away
While there are important things to be done as soon as possible, there are some that shouldn’t.
- Don’t cancel the deceased’s primary phone right away.
- Don’t cancel the primary credit card right away.
- Don’t inform everyone about the death right away.
- Don’t put an obituary in the newspaper unless it’s necessary, and then keep it simple.
- Don’t make any major decisions without consulting a professional first.
By leaving phone numbers available, you will be able to receive important calls, and by leaving credit card accounts open, you will be able to see any memberships or recurring items that need to be canceled.
Seek Professional Help
Another important thing to keep in mind is don’t assume someone is handling the final closing process and other affairs. You can’t expect hospitals to let health providers know about the death or assume that since a will and trust is completed that everything is done. It is easy to become overwhelmed and make mistakes when dealing with this situation. Seeking professional help is the best way to be sure that everything is handled legally and properly. We encourage you to seek legal help from a trusted Estate Planning attorney at Edmondson Law, PLLC. We have years of experience and are committed to providing trusted care to our clients.
Information, Not Legal Advice. We provide the information on this website as a public service. The legal landscape is constantly changing and being modified by state law and case law. As a result, we cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and reflective of the most current jurisprudence.
We do not intend this information to be legal advice. By providing this information, we are not acting as your lawyer. If you need legal advice, you should contact a lawyer through our number (972) 442-8326 or contact another attorney of your choosing.