Canceling accounts when a loved one dies is one of those small details that many never think about needing to do. Think of all the accounts you have, streaming services, email lists, gym membership and the list goes on. All of those must be canceled if they will no longer be used. When someone dies unexpectedly it is not uncommon for a loved one to not even be aware of the number of accounts and even more the passwords to said accounts that allow you to manage them.
Here I will give a list of accounts that may need to be canceled when a loved one dies. It is important to note whether it is a shared account with a spouse who will continue to use the account or if it is something that will need to be closed.
There are multiple reasons for closing accounts right after someone dies. One of the most pressing is so that any automatic payments are stopped when the account is no longer being used. Another reason is to prevent identity theft. As well as to stop receiving communication about the account in the future.
There is something about receiving mail or phone calls for a deceased loved one after their death that really stirs up grief.
Canceling Accounts: Start With These
- Credit Card
- Automatic prescription refill
- Health Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Social Media
- Child support
- Personal Trainer
- Retirement accounts
- Online photo/data storage
The above list is nowhere near exhaustive. If the person who died lived alone and didn’t share any accounts with others this list will likely double or triple with possibilities. This is why it is so important in the pre planning process to create a list of accounts.
A Pre Plan is the Best Plan
Create a list of accounts and passwords and put in a secure place. Give one person knowledge or access to it upon your death. This is a very important piece of the pre planning process. Rummaging through accounts and trying to figure out passwords can be a monumental stressor. Feeling like a scavenger hunt trying to unlock one clue at a time.
Transfer any accounts to a survivor if they will still be used. It may be time consuming and take a lot of phone calls. The truth is that dealing with accounts and passwords can be one of the most exhausting run-arounds if you don’t have a pre plan in place. If you pre plan well you will have all your important information in one place which will make it easier on whoever has to organize after life decisions.
You can find more help and information here to get a pre plan in place.