Estate Planning 101

Notifying Experian After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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When a loved one passes away, notifying various organizations is a necessary task to prevent fraud and identity theft. One such organization is Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.

Who Should Be Notified

Experian should be notified in the event of a death to prevent unauthorized credit activities under the deceased's name. This will also trigger a flag on the deceased person's credit report to indicate that they have passed away.

When to Notify

You should inform Experian as soon as possible after the death. This helps prevent potential identity theft and fraudulent activity on the deceased's credit report.

How to Notify

To notify Experian, you will need to send them a copy of the death certificate by mail. Their mailing address is: Experian, P.O. Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013. Include your name, address, and relationship to the deceased, as well as the full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and most recent address of the deceased.

What to Expect After Notification

Once Experian receives your notification, they will add a "deceased – do not issue credit" flag to the person's credit file. This action prevents thieves from opening new credit in the deceased's name. It may take a few weeks for the flag to be added.

Tips for Notification

Keep a copy of everything you send to Experian for your records. Send the documents via certified mail with a return receipt request, so you have proof that Experian received the documents. Be sure to follow up if you don't receive a confirmation from Experian within a month.

Conclusion

Notifying Experian about a loved one's death is a vital step in protecting their credit and preventing identity theft. While it's an extra task during a difficult time, it's an important way to safeguard your loved one's identity and legacy.

FAQ

Q: Do I need to notify all three credit bureaus individually?
A: Yes, each credit bureau operates independently, so you should notify each one – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Q: Can I notify Experian online or by phone?
A: No, Experian requires a copy of the death certificate, which must be sent by mail.

Q: What if I don't have all the information asked for by Experian?
A: Provide as much information as you can. Experian can use the deceased's name and Social Security number to locate their credit file.