The passing of a family member presents challenges on multiple fronts. In addition to grieving, practical responsibilities need attention. For example, their accounts must be settled, including utilities, insurance, memberships, digital subscriptions, and other recurring payment programs. Resolving these accounts aids in preventing avoidable fees and safeguards against identity theft. Your initial step should be to identify the accounts held by your dear one and subsequently determine the appropriate course of action for each of them.
During estate planning, your loved one might have compiled a record of accounts they have. Yet, if this measure wasn’t taken, you can ascertain their accounts by reviewing their physical mail, emails, and phone notifications. Once you’ve pinpointed these accounts, you can make informed choices about closing each of them. Here are some examples of services to cancel after a loved one passes:
It’s no secret that the average American has at least a few digital media subscription services such as Netflix, or Hulu. Moreover, most American households have delivery services such as Amazon Prime. Usually, you should cancel these services unless there is a shared family plan.
Patronage accounts, often referred to as patron accounts or crowdfunding accounts, are platforms where individuals can financially support creators, artists, writers, musicians, or other content creators they admire. Reviewing bank or credit card statements can help determine whether your loved one had subscriptions to support their favorite creators. Similar to subscription services, accounts for patronage or support are often ideal candidates for cancellation.
While the estate is being resolved, keeping utilities in the decedent’s name for a short time is usually ok. However, if the utilities were under the deceased’s name and they shared a residence with someone else, the accounts should be transferred to that individual. Similarly, the same principle applies if a family member intends to assume occupancy or ownership. Utility accounts can be terminated after estate administration, but it’s essential to factor in timing if the house is for sale. Usually, during a sale, utility services are maintained until the closing.
While not classified as a traditional utility, a home security system warrants comparable attention. Ensuring security is crucial for a home left unoccupied for prolonged periods during the estate settlement. Therefore, the security system must be briefly kept under the decedent’s name or transferred to another occupant’s name. Other miscellaneous accounts to settle include gym memberships, homeowners associations, pet-related subscriptions, newspapers, magazines, meal delivery services, and music subscriptions.
While grappling with the emotional difficulties following a family member’s passing, you might also find yourself navigating legal matters associated with the loss of your loved one. Assuming the role of an estate administrator or executor carries significant obligations. Our estate planning attorneys provide specialized services for executors, assisting them in fulfilling their responsibilities within the legal framework. If you’re seeking solutions to inquiries about estate administration, don’t hesitate to contact Law & Stein.