Estate Planning 101

Notifying American Express After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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When a loved one passes away, it’s necessary to notify various institutions, including banks and credit card companies like American Express, to settle the deceased’s accounts and prevent future complications. This step-by-step guide will help you navigate this process.

Who Should Be Notified

American Express should be notified if the deceased had an active credit card account or other services with them. This is crucial to prevent potential fraud, identity theft, and to settle any outstanding balances.

When to Notify

It's recommended to notify American Express as soon as possible after the death of the account holder to prevent further charges, interest accrual, and potential misuse of the account.

How to Notify

To notify American Express, you can call their customer service number, which is available 24/7. The number can be found on the back of the American Express card or on their official website. You will need to provide the deceased's account number and social security number. Be prepared to send a copy of the death certificate, either by mail or fax, as it will likely be required to close the account.

What to Expect After Notification

Once American Express has been notified, they will close the account and provide information on any remaining balance. If the account has a balance due, it will typically be handled by the deceased's estate. If the deceased had an account with rewards points, you may be able to redeem them. Each situation is unique, so be sure to ask for detailed information.

Tips for Notification

Keep a record of all communications with American Express, including the date and time of calls, the representative you spoke with, and any actions taken. This can be helpful if there are any discrepancies or issues in the future. Also, it might be beneficial to consult with a legal advisor or estate executor to ensure all financial matters are handled properly.

Conclusion

Notifying American Express after a loved one's death is a necessary step in settling their financial affairs. While it can be a challenging task during a difficult time, it is important to prevent potential issues down the line. With a clear understanding of the process, you can handle this task effectively and efficiently.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify American Express online?
A: Currently, American Express does not have an online process to report a death. You must call their customer service line.

Q: What happens to the rewards points on the deceased's account?
A: It depends on the specific account and circumstances. In some cases, you may be able to redeem the points. Be sure to ask American Express for details.

Q: What if the deceased had a joint account?
A: If the account was joint, the surviving account holder will likely assume responsibility for the account. Confirm the details with American Express.