Accounts belonging to deceased individuals can be misused if they remain open. To prevent this from happening, notify creditors that the account holder is dead and have them close the accounts. You also must notify the three major credit bureaus of the death so they can update their records with this information. Obtain credit reports from the bureaus to identify creditors and the deceased's open accounts.
Contacting the Credit Bureaus
Contact each of the three major credit bureaus in writing to request a credit report for the deceased. Include the deceased's name, address and social security number for ease of identification. Also include a copy of the death certificate and proof that you are authorized to act for the estate, such as a power of attorney or a letter of testamentary from the probate court. Write to the agencies at the following addresses: Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013; Equifax Information Services LLC, Office of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 105139, Atlanta, GA 30348; and TransUnion LLC, P.O.Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022.
The fee for the credit reports depends on the state. If the deceased did not order one recently, you might be able to obtain the annual free credit report from each bureau, as provided by federal law. Consider sending the letter by certified mail with return receipt requested as proof you asked for the reports.
- Experian: Executor Of An Estate Can Obtain The Deceased's Credit Report
- Equifax: Death of a Spouse Or Parent Or Other Family Member
- Equifax: Credit Report FAQs -- What Do I Do When A Family Member Dies?: How Do I Pull A Copy Of My Deceased Family Member's Credit Report?
- TransUnion: Credit Disputes FAQs -- My Family Member Is Deceased. How Do I Note This On His/Her Credit Report?