Estate Identity Theft

Estate Identity Theft

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

Crooks steal live people's identities and valuables; why not steal a decedent's identity and belongings? It's probably much easier to do so, because in many cases, there is no one living in the decedent's house, or checking on it every day. But, the executor of the will would have to fight the theft no differently then you would have to address a typical burglary. Why go through all that trouble and annoyance when it's not necessary? Precautions: Change all locks on any empty house or apartment, install an alarm in any now empty home, and cancel all credit cards (not just cut them up). That way, it would be impossible for anyone to enter the house unnoticed, and there would be no way for someone to try and charge something to the credit card account.

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