How to write a letter to creditors when someone dies

Updated March 16, 2017

At some point during the grieving process, the friends and family of the deceased must begin winding up his affairs. Often, the executor of the estate handles things such as collecting and inventorying assets and notifying creditors and heirs. It is important to notify the decedent's creditors about the decedent's death to avoid issues such as identity theft.

Call the creditor personally and speak to a representative who can handle the decedent's account. Inform the representative that the decedent has died and that you will be following up with a written death notification letter. Ask for the representative's ID number or for a reference number regarding the call.

Address the letter to the representative. Include the representative's ID number or the reference number for the call. Type "RE: Death Notification of [Name of Deceased]."

Inform the creditor that the deceased passed away; reference the prior call you made. Ask the creditor to place a formal death notice on the deceased credit file and to close the account. Provide information about the decedent, such as his full name, address, Social Security number, birth date and account number.

Ask the creditor to contact you if he has any questions; list a telephone number or e-mail address. Reference the documents you enclosed with the letter (a copy of the death certificate and testamentary letters issued by the probate court if you are the executor of the decedent's estate).

Sign and date the letter. Send it to the creditor. Repeat Steps 1-5 for each individual creditor of the deceased.

Things You'll Need

  • Information about the deceased (name, birthday, Social Security number, address)
  • Copies of the death certificate
  • Copies of testamentary letters (if applicable)
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About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.