Here are a few simple steps to help you through the process:

1. Send a letter to the credit bureaus giving notification of death and request that the deceased person’s credit file be suppressed. This will lock down the deceased persons file so that no further credit can be obtained in their name.

2. Notify all creditors of the person’s death by sending them a copy of the death certificate.

3. Cancel their driver’s license and any other group membership or affiliation that offers an identification card.

4. Be cautious about how much information is shared in public announcements (e.g., obituaries, etc.).

5. Think twice before closing any joint accounts. While removing the deceased’s name should have no impact on your credit score, but it will reduce or eliminate the amount of available credit for the survivor.

Conclusion:

Credit is a wonderful tool! But please remember that only by first considering all of its potential costs are you fully prepared to finish well!

Guy Hatcher – known as The Legacy Guy – has spent his lifetime helping families plan their legacy. A Certified Financial Planner, Guy has been a leader in the wealth management industry, which has allowed him to have over "10,000 Kitchen Table Conversations." This real-life experience merged with Guy's unique conversation style makes him financial advisor, family coach, and family counselor. His new book, Your Future Reflection: How to Leave a Legacy Beyond Money, is now available at amazon.com. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or go to www.guyhatcher.com

Publication date: April 14, 2014