Funeral Home and Grief Resources

A resource page for funeral home topics

Protecting Your Deceased Loved One From The Risk of Identity Theft

The grief of losing a loved one is a very tumultuous and heartbreaking experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, in the world that we live in, some people disregard this pain entirely and are willing to capitalize on the identity of the deceased. Frequently, individuals engage in such behaviour because they are trying to escape past convictions or outstanding debts. Even after your loved one dies, it is imperative to keep his or her identity safe to avoid the possibility of identity theft. Here are a few steps you can take to secure the identity of your loved one:

Never Disclose Sensitive Information

Thieves can be very crafty in how they conduct their crime and often use publicly known information from social media accounts to gain access to private knowledge. Contact the social media platforms and inform them that a user on their platform has passed away, and that should effectively lock their account or remove it.

Advise Financial Organizations / Government Organizations

The chances are that your loved one has ties with multiple corporations involving financial interactions, which can include banks, credit unions, insurance companies or investment companies, and they all must be notified about the passing of your loved one. Begin with giving them a phone call and make sure you send them proof of death. Ensure that you are keeping documentation about which organizations you’ve reached out to, the date on which you contacted them, and the representative with whom you were in contact. Other relevant documents such as drivers licenses, passports, or social insurance numbers should be handled with extreme caution. Inform government institutions about the death of your relative, and they should effectively make all existing documents null and void.

Routinely Check On Your Loved One’s Credit/ Bank Statements.

Often, identity theft of a deceased person can go unnoticed because there is nobody routinely checking his or her banking and credit statements. This form of theft, often referred to as “ghosting,” can occur for a year or longer before any indication of robbery has taken place. Therefore, it is imperative to check these statements for months after your loved one has passed, and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Stealing the identity of a dead person is a lucrative idea for thieves because they predict that not everyone has taken the necessary precaution to protect their identity from future attacks. When a loved one passes away, family members will try their best to secure all critical certificates and documents from falling into the wrong hands, but cannot guarantee that security. It is important to concern yourself with the protection of yourand your family's private information immediately to save you from dealing with this heinous crime.

How to Cope Following the Death of a Loved One

When someone very close to you passes away, your initial reaction will very likely be disbelief, sadness and anger. You may feel the need to get in contact with other friends & family to console one another & begin the healing process together. For you, there is no set timetable for how long it should take for you to come to terms with the situation; in fact, placing a timetable on your recovery can make it harder for you to reflect on your relationship fully and emotional connection with your deceased loved one. However, it is imperative to monitor your physical and mental health and take care of yourself. Here are three ways to help you manage yourself following the death of a loved one:

Enlist the Services of a Support Worker

Enlisting the assistance of a support worker, such as a therapist or social worker, to speak about the feelings and emotions that are bothering you can be an important first step in the healing process. Many people refuse to seek out help because they don’t want to rehash their thoughts which tend to irritate and sadden them. Speaking to a therapist or social support worker can help you see new perspectives and connect with methods of coping that you didn’t know previously. Therapists are excellent for individuals dealing with invasive thoughts as well as anxiety disorders & depression.

Start Focusing on Your Hobbies and Interests

Forcing yourself to feel better is a near improbability as healing takes an indefinite amount of time. Truthfully, one of the more elegant ways to encourage yourself to feel better is to focus on yourself and the things that you like doing. Hobbies and interests help distract you and take your mind off unfortunate circumstances. Use your hobbies and interests as a creative outlet; focus your energy, emotions and true thoughts on artistic or inventive enterprises. Take some time off your regularly scheduled life, including work or school, and sincerely focus on you; exercise, eat healthily, read a book, do something that will help you ease your mind.

Connect with Friends and Family

At this time, you need to be with the people that mean the most to you and your loved one that recently passed. Just being there for physical support or being a listening ear, can help your friends & family heal as well. Being able to recall memories and good times has been known to promote serotonin levels in individuals in distress. Losing someone you love dearly can make you see everything in tunnel vision which could cause you to ignore everyone else’s emotions. Take care of your friends and family and begin the healing process together.