Credit Information and Personal Finance Resources | Credit One Bank

Credit One CentralTM

Explore ways to manage your credit and finances with Credit One Central. These informational articles and resources can help guide you in your everyday life.

How a Loved One’s Death Could Impact You Financially

How a Loved One’s Death Could Impact You Financially

The loss of a loved one is a time for mourning, but it’s also a time for making difficult choices. One of those decisions is how to manage your loved one’s finances—both in terms of dealing with creditors and protecting the deceased’s assets from identity thieves.

Unfortunately, a person’s passing may actually intensify some lenders’ efforts to collect repayment. On top of that, criminals fraudulently use nearly 2.5 million deceased Americans’ identities every year to open false accounts (also known as “ghosting”), according to ID Analytics. If you should find yourself in the position of dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s death, the following information may help prepare you to avoid some of the potential financial and legal pitfalls.

A Legal Matter

The deceased’s possessions are legally known as their “estate,” and the person handling those belongings is the “administrator.” If you’re the administrator—because you applied for it in court, your loved one designated it in a will, or through various other means—you will need to work within the legal system to handle any financial issues.

One primary issue you may need to resolve is managing the deceased’s debts. Laws vary from state to state, but, in general, you are not responsible for paying off a deceased loved one’s debt unless you were a co-signor or guarantor on any of their loans. If you stand to inherit part or all of the deceased’s estate, you should be aware that creditors usually receive priority over inheritors in terms of distributing the estate.

You may also have to deal with debt collectors, some of whom are notorious for aggressively demanding repayment. Make sure you consult the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCA) so you’re fully aware of your rights and protections in dealing with creditors and collectors.

Thwarting ID Theft

As an estate administrator, you will want to take precautions against identity theft. As unseemly as it sounds, a departed person’s Social Security number (SSN) and other personally identifiable information is rife for identity theft because criminals can take advantage of any lag between the time of death and the notification of the appropriate agencies and institutions. In order to prevent this ghosting, you will want to take the following steps:

  1. Obtain a death certificate of the deceased.

  2. Immediately notify the three credit reporting agencies of your loved one’s death and provide a certified copy of the death certificate as proof. Use the following contact information:

  3. Request multiple copies of your loved one’s credit reports from all three agencies. The credit reporting agencies should delete a deceased person’s account after about a year, so it’s best to access the credit reports sooner rather than later.

  4. Using the information contained within the credit reports, contact any creditors with open accounts for the deceased and ask them to note your loved one’s death accordingly in their systems. You will need to provide them with a copy of the death certificate and proof that you are the administrator of estate.

  5. Contact the Social Security Administration to ensure they’ve noted your loved one is now deceased in their files. The Social Security Administration will frequently also inform the credit reporting agencies of the deceased’s updated record, but it’s best to double-check.

By proactively following the above steps, you can hopefully avoid or limit any financial damages from the loss of a loved one. And now that you know a little more about the process, you may want to consider how to best organize your own finances and legal documents. Meeting with a financial advisor is a great place to start, and many are available for free or affordable consultations.

It’s also never too early to write a notarized will so that your own loved ones won’t suffer from unnecessary stress (make sure to tell someone you trust how to access and find your will). Understanding and acting on what you can control will help prepare you for the things you cannot control—and give you peace of mind.


 

« Return
This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified tax advisor, attorney or financial advisor. Readers should consult with their own tax advisor, attorney or financial advisor with regard to their personal situations.
Credit One Bank Testimonials

Customer Testimonials & Success Stories

Looking to reach your financial goals? See how Credit One Bank helps people purchase a house or car, handle emergencies and build their credit.

Read More

See If You Pre-Qualify Today

With a Credit One Bank Platinum Visa®, you'll earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply, and receive many benefits like free online access to your credit score and $0 Fraud Liability.

In less than 60 seconds, find the card that's right for you!



Credit One Bank Credit Card

 Terms of Use 

Credit One Bank maintains our various websites (hereinafter referred to as "website") as a service to our customers and visitors in order to provide information about products and services and to facilitate communication with us. We require that all customers and visitors to our website adhere to these Terms of Use. By accessing our website and any of its pages, you indicate your acknowledgement and acceptance of the Terms of Use set forth herein without limitation or qualification. We may revise the Terms of Use at any time by updating this posting. You should therefore visit this posting to review the Terms of Use from time-to-time as you visit the website. For the purposes of these Terms of Use, references to Credit One Bank include its affiliates, directors and employees.

COPYRIGHT - The information and materials contained in the website, including but not limited to text and images herein (excluding certain images licensed from third parties) and their arrangement are © Copyright 2015 by Credit One Bank. The information and materials contained in the website may not be copied, displayed, distributed, licensed, modified, published, sold, used to create derivative work or otherwise used for public or commercial purposes without the express written permission of Credit One Bank.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY - We use our best efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information and materials on the website, however, information and materials on the website are provided "as is" without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Furthermore, we make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. The information and materials on the website may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. From time-to-time we may amend, change, add, delete, update or alter the information and/or materials contained in the website, including information regarding the products and services described or offered on the website, without notice. We assume no liability for any errors or omissions in the information or materials contained within the website and expressly disclaim any responsibility to update the information or materials contained within the website. By using the website, you acknowledge that we specifically disclaim any liability for any direct, indirect, special, unsolicited or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of your access to or use of the website, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages, including liability associated with any viruses or software which may impact a user's equipment.

GOVERNING LAW - You agree that your use of the website shall be governed by all applicable Federal laws and the law of the state of Nevada.

INFORMATION SUBMISSIONS - All information and materials (including but not limited to feedback data, documents, questions, comments, and suggestions) you submit to us via the website or email shall be deemed to be the property of Credit One Bank and may be used by us in a manner consistent with our Privacy Policy. We shall be free to reproduce, use, disclose, exhibit, display, transform, create derivative works and distribute this information and materials to others without limitation. Furthermore, we shall be free to use any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques contained in such information or materials for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to developing, manufacturing and marketing purposes. Application information submitted to us shall be treated confidentially to the extent required by applicable law or as disclosed in the application and/or supporting materials.

ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE AND LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES - We do not provide, endorse, nor guarantee any third-party product, service, information, or recommendation available through links from this website. The third parties providing products and services available through this website are not affiliated with us and are solely responsible for their products, services, information, recommendations, and all other content on their websites. We shall not be held liable for any third party's failure with regard to such advertised products, services, and benefits. Many of these advertised products and services are not FDIC insured, nor bank guaranteed. By responding to offers advertised on this website, you may be communicating information about yourself to the company that provides such product or services - for example, that you are a Credit One Bank customer. Please be aware that these third parties may have a different privacy policy than ours. Their website(s) may also provide less security than ours. We encourage you to check individual offers, products, and services to become familiar with any applicable restrictions or conditions.

×
 Security & Fraud  

We are committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We list some activities below that we perform in order to safeguard your data and some tips that you can follow to protect your security.

What We Do:

  • We employ industry-proven standards and technologies to protect information in our computing environment.
  • We protect our systems and networks from the Internet with Firewall systems.
  • We use 128-bit SSL encryption technology to protect sensitive information that is transmitted over the Internet.
  • We maintain a Global Digital Certificate signed by Verisign® that assures you are, in fact, communicating directly with Credit One Bank.
  • We control access to your information inside our company by limiting employee access to systems and data.

What You Should Do:

  • Protect your Username and Password. Avoid choosing easily guessed words or numbers. Avoid writing your Sign In information in a place where others can view it.
  • Use the "Sign Out" button to Sign Out from Online Account Access upon completion of your session and close your browser.
  • Do not use email for account-specific questions. Email is not normally encrypted and your account information could be intercepted.
  • Review your statement information regularly for unauthorized transactions.

Alerts Regarding Phishing and Web-Spoofing:

  • Phishing is an Internet scam (spoof) in the form of an email or pop-up box. The emails and pop-ups link to sites that look like well-known legitimate businesses and ask you to provide and confirm personal, financial, or password information.
  • Legitimate businesses do not ask for this information unless you initiate a request for a service. Please DO NOT RESPOND to these emails requesting personal identity, accounts or password information.
  • Scam emails often contain misspelled words, poor grammar, awkward or unprofessional writing and typos.
  • Be suspicious of urgent or alarming appeals that request security information.

Fraud Alerts:

  • Credit One Fraud Alerts messages are provided to you at no cost. You will not be charged for alerts received.
  • Message frequency varies, as they are only sent when there is suspicion of fraud.
  • Mobile carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages.
  • For help send HELP to 89283.
  • Send STOP to 89283 to end future fraud alert messages.
  • For support contact us at 1-877-825-3242.

To learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam visit the Federal Trade Commission site at www.ftc.gov/spam

×

You are leaving CreditOneBank.com

If you the 'Continue' button, you will be directed to a third-party website unaffiliated with Credit One Bank, which may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. Credit One Bank is not responsible or liable for, and does not endorse or guarantee, any products, services, information or recommendations that are offered or expressed on other websites.

the 'Return to CreditOneBank.com' button to return to the previous page or 'Continue' to proceed to the third-party website.

Return to CreditOneBank.com Continue