Probate is an important part of verifying the accuracy and function of your loved one’s will in Tennessee. However, imagine your horror if find a forged signature and discover that you no longer control the outcome of your family member’s estate.

Preventing identity theft after your loved one’s death can help you protect the legacy and inheritance that he or she left behind.

Practice mindfulness

Practice mindfulness when choosing which details and personal information to share about your loved one’s death. According to the Internal Revenue Service, do not include too much information in the obituary. Oversharing information could unintentionally draw the attention of identity thieves. Refrain from publicly sharing information about the deceased including the following:

  • Personal address
  • Date of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name

Information such as those listed above, are commonly used as identifiers for personal bank accounts and other sensitive content. Sharing these details could provide thieves with just enough information to impersonate your family member and weasel their way into other personal accounts.

Respond proactively

At the earliest notification of your loved one’s death, respond proactively to safeguard his or her estate. For example, watch for any suspicious activity on credit reports. Experts recommend checking your family member’s credit a few weeks after his or her death and again in a few months.

Prior to your family member’s death, you should know who has authorized access to the estate to verify the claims of anyone trying to participate in probate. You and any other family members with authorized access should act with transparency to keep each other informed and reduce the risks of theft.