Estate Planning 101

Notifying Discover After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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The passing of a loved one brings with it numerous responsibilities, one of which is ensuring the proper notification of financial institutions. If your loved one held a Discover credit card, it's essential to inform Discover of their passing to close the account and settle any remaining balances.

Who Should Be Notified

Discover Financial Services, the issuer of Discover credit cards, should be notified in the event of a cardholder's death. This step is critical to prevent identity theft, stop further charges, and settle the deceased's account.

When to Notify

As soon as you're able to, you should notify Discover of the cardholder's passing. Prompt notification can prevent additional charges from accruing on the account and reduce the risk of identity theft.

How to Notify

You can notify Discover of a cardholder's death by calling their customer service line at 1-800-DISCOVER. Be prepared to provide the cardholder's name, account number, and date of death. You'll also likely need to send a copy of the death certificate, either by mail or fax.

What to Expect After Notification

Once Discover has been informed of the cardholder's death, they will close the account and provide information regarding any remaining balance. If there's an outstanding balance, it will usually be handled by the deceased's estate. Discover will also stop monthly statements and prevent further charges on the account.

Tips for Notification

When notifying Discover, it's helpful to keep a record of all communications, including the date and time of your call and the name of the representative you spoke with. You should also keep a copy of the death certificate for your records.

Conclusion

Notifying Discover of a cardholder's passing is a crucial step in settling their financial affairs. Although it may be a challenging task during a difficult time, it's an important part of preventing identity theft and closing the deceased's account.

FAQ

Q: What if I don't have the cardholder's account number?
A: If you don't have the account number, Discover's customer service may be able to locate the account using the cardholder's name and other identifying information.

Q: What if the cardholder had a balance on their account?
A: Any outstanding balance will typically be handled by the deceased's estate. If there's no estate, or the estate is insolvent, you may need to consult with a legal professional to understand your options.

Q: What if the cardholder had a joint account?
A: If the cardholder shared a joint account, the co-account holder is typically responsible for any remaining balance. The account can usually continue to be used by the co-account holder after the other account holder's death.