Grief Resources

Learn more about stopping identity theft of someone who has recently passed.

Protecting Your Deceased Loved One From The Risk of Identity Theft

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.

Important Tips to Keep in Mind About Funeral Home and Visitation Etiquette

Visiting a funeral home to say goodbye to a dear loved one, family or friend, is an amazingly powerful way to say goodbye, in concert, with everyone who was lucky enough to be a part the deceased’s life. Visitations, wakes and memorial services are all moving ways not only to acknowledge the life of the deceased but a way to help ingrain them into your memory forever. Before you visit your deceased loved ones at a wake or a memorial, it is important to remember this is a time of solace, grief and remembrance for someone you held close to your heart; proper etiquette while visiting is of extreme importance. Here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind while attending a funeral home:

Attending A Wake:

A wake often referred to as a “viewing,” is an event that generally occurs before the actual funeral procession takes place. They are typically hosted at funeral homes or depending on the request of the deceased, in a protected venue where they preferred their funeral be hosted. Although wakes are primarily open to all people that were close to the deceased, if it is not directly specified, you should be honourable and refrain from visiting. Many families prefer to not display their loved ones for anyone outside of their direct family, so be sure that you do not overstep your boundaries and visit uninvited. For wakes, where those that were close to the deceased are welcome to appear, prepare to be emotional. Seeing someone you loved for the last time can be an emotional moment, so you should emotionally prepare yourself. Lastly, no one will make you view the body, proceed with what makes you feel comfortable.

Attending a Visitation:

Many people who attend a visitation are not necessarily close with the deceased but have close ties with the surviving members of the family. It is generally a gesture of good faith to attend a visitation of a close friend, a co-worker or a neighbour that you care deeply about. Depending on how well you know the deceased family’s member, you may stay to offer your condolences, but it is best practice not to stay too long so that everyone visiting has an opportunity to speak to the surviving loved ones.

Memorial Services:

Memorial services are typically events arranged to commemorate the life of the deceased, which can include a few speeches, a slideshow or a musical performance. It is essential to arrive early for the service, as to not interrupt it when it has already started and stay until the very end to show your respect. Dress in mellow or dull colours as to not stand out in the crowd, it is a service for the deceased, and all attention should be on them. Turn off your cell phones and other devices that could make noises throughout the procession.

We understand the importance to commemorate the life of your loved ones and do so with the utmost respect and compassion. For more information for hosting a wake, visitation or memorial service, contact Valley View Funeral Home & Cemetery today.