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ID Theft and the Deceased, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


Everyone has heard horror stories about identity theft and millions of Americans take steps to protect themselves by regularly checking their credit reports. However, the deceased cannot check their own credit reports. This gives thieves an opportunity.

13WMAZ reported, in a recent article titled “Protecting the dead against ID theft,” that every year 800,000 deceased people are targeted for identity theft and 1.6 million credit applications are made on the behalf of the deceased.

While this does not create any problems for the deceased, it can cause their families grief.

Survivors will not have to pay any money, however, they are often the victims of harassing collections calls. The problem is that the deceased cannot monitor their credit reports and thieves gamble that no one else is.

If no one checks the credit reports, then the credit bureaus do not learn that the person has passed away and they cannot pass that information on to potential creditors.

Fortunately, there is a relatively easy solution to this problem.

The executor of the estate can and should send an original copy of a death certificate to all three major credit bureaus. It is also a good idea to send an original death certificate to the deceased’s known creditors and any financial institutions with which he or she had business.

When that is all done, the credit bureaus will mark credit reports appropriately and creditors that thieves try to apply to will be on notice that the application is a scam.

Reference: 13WMAZ (June 25, 2015) “Protecting the dead against ID theft.”

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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

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The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

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Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

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Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

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