Estate Planning and your Obituary Pay Attention to Identity Theft
Estate planning and your obituary should be made with identity theft in mind. Estate planning must involve every aspect of your estate. As a result, I recommend that you prepare your obituary in advance. It will make things easier on your family later. As you prepare the obituary, keep in mind identity thieves. Identity thieves regularly scan the obituaries. They note all the personal information and use it to their advantage.
Some thieves will use the information from your estate planning and your obituary to get duplicate driver’s licenses and birth certificates. They take these documents and use them to get credit. Others target grieving family members with all kinds of scams. Nobody needs that during an already tragic time. This is so prevalent that I always council my clients to make no financial decisions for six months after the funeral. Another problem is securing your home. In our neighborhood some of the men actually stay at the deceased’s home during the funeral because we have had robberies occur during funerals.
As you prepare your estate planning and your obituary, here is some information to leave out. Never give your exact birth date or address. This makes it harder for identity thieves to track down your information. It also keeps robbers away from your house. Don’t give out the full names of other living relatives; thieves will sometimes access and use their information.