The loss of a loved one or family member is always sad and often overwhelming. Unfortunately, identity theft has become just one more thing you need to consider when a loved one dies. Business Connections offers the following suggestions in hopes of making your loss a little easier and less stressful.

It is recommended that you order at least ten death certificates, which may take approximately ten days to receive, but they are important for settling your loved one’s estate after death. In most cases, the funeral director may be able to provide you with one or two certificates for immediate use.

Should you need any assistance with ordering the death certificates, please stop by our office at 332 Pine Street, Red Bluff; we will be happy to assist in any way we can to make this difficult time easier for you. Please be aware, only immediate family members are allowed to order death certificates.

You should immediately send a death certificate to each credit reporting bureau and request a “deceased alert” be placed on their credit reports. This is to avoid identity theft. Also notify the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and contact your local DMV office.

You should also notify all banks, financial institutions and insurance companies where your loved one may have had accounts. You may also need to send a certificate to these organizations. Protecting the deceased’s name from identity theft is crucial to settling their estate as well as providing you with peace of mind.

It is highly recommended that you omit your loved one’s birth date, place of birth and last known address from any obituary. Unscrupulous individuals can use this information to steal your loved one’s identity before you have had the opportunity to close all bank accounts and settle all affairs.