After losing a loved one, the last thing that many people want to deal with is the personal finance aspect of that person's life. However, if the deceased had outstanding credit card balances it is important to inform the credit card companies of the death. The Credit Card Reform Act of 2009 requires creditors to stop tacking on late fees and other penalties when they are notified of a death. This can save a lot of headaches for joint credit card holders down the line.
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Determine who is the executor of the estate. It is incumbent upon the executor to contact the credit card companies. If there is no executor, then a family member or close friend should be the one appointed to contact the credit card companies.
Gather the credit card accounts. Locate the last monthly statement either online or a paper bill. If you cannot find that documentation, use the physical credit card to get the account number and contact phone number (usually on the back).
Call each credit card company and inform them of the death of the card holder. They will most likely request some form of documentation such as a copy of the death certificate.
Mail a copy of the death certificate along with a note detailing the person's name and their account number to each credit card company. Make sure you send the letter with a form of tracking so you know it was delivered. Also, make copies for yourself or the estate to keep on file.
Follow up with each credit card company. Place a call after about a week to confirm that they have all the paperwork they need to show the card holder as deceased.
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