- Plan ahead, if you can, in the case of an aging parent
- Know what legal options may exist
- You can place a security freeze or fraud alert on the person’s credit reports
Each year, millions of U.S. consumers find themselves managing finances and credit accounts for an senesce parent, acquaintance, or syndicate member with particular needs. It can be an overpower tax, but there are some steps you may want to consider – both before and after a need arises – to help better protect them from fraud or identity larceny .
Plan ahead if possible
If your parent still has active fiscal and credit accounts, you might suggest he or she add a entrust family penis or ally to their credit or bank accounts. This may be particularly significant if he or she is in the early stages of a progressive disease involving memory loss. If it becomes necessary, that person can help pay bills on time, make timely deposits and withdrawals, admonisher report balances, and stay argus-eyed in checking for signs of imposter or identity larceny .
Why it ’ sulfur important : If your rear or other love one is unable – or becomes unable — to manage their credit rating accounts and finances, and you haven ’ thymine been able to plan ahead, you may need to piece together their fiscal affairs yourself. In addition, they could pile up unnecessary debt ; miss credit card or beak payments, which may impact their credit reports and trip late fees or penalties ; and they could be ineffective to recognize signs of fraud or identity larceny .
If they are able, your parent or loved one may sign a world power of Attorney to designate person to assist with finances if they become helpless. A might of Attorney is a legal document in which the person appoints person else to act for them under certain circumstances .
As separate of your training, consider gathering information such as personal identification numbers ( PINs ) for bank cards, access codes and even passwords for on-line accounts .
For person who can not manage their finances alone and has not signed a might of Attorney appointing person to act on their behalf, a court-appointed defender can be designated. An lawyer can help you find out more about options. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau besides has fiscal caregiving resources on its web site .
If you have a baron of Attorney or are a court-appointed defender, you can contact your parent or loved one ‘s lenders and creditors and banks to find out what data you ‘ll need to provide to gain entree to their accounts .
Monitor your loved one’s credit reports
If your friend or proportional has a credit history, checking their citation reports can help you ensure the information is accurate and accomplished. Your rear or loved one is entitled to a free copy of their recognition report every 12 months from all three nationally credit chest of drawers .
In order to access your parent or loved one ‘s accredit reports, you ’ ll need to send a written request and documents by mail to the credit agency. Those documents will be used to verify your identity, their identity and your ability to legally act on their behalf. To request a copy of your parent or loved one ‘s Equifax citation composition, please send your request and documents to :
Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
In your letter, please include : your parent or loved one ‘s entire name, Social Security phone number, date of birth, and the address to send the replicate of their credit report card .
To prove your parent or loved one ‘s identity, include both of the play along :
- A copy of their birth certificate
- A copy of their Social Security card
To prove your identity, include one of the succeed :
- A copy of your driver’s license
- A copy of your Social Security card
- A copy of your birth certificate
To verify your ability to legally act on their behalf, include one of the comply :
- A copy of a court order
- A copy of a lawfully executed and valid Power of Attorney
Consider placing a security freeze or fraud alert on the person’s Equifax credit report
A security freeze is one tool you can use to restrict certain access to their Equifax credit report. Unless you temporarily lift or permanently remove a security freeze, the Equifax credit report can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be accessed to open new accounts ( subject to certain exceptions ). To place a security freeze on the Equifax citation report of a rear or loved one, you can download this form and follow the instructions. Security freezes must be placed individually with each of the three nationally citation chest of drawers .
With a fraud alert, third parties such as lenders and creditors can access credit reports, but when they do, they are notified that they should take steps to verify the person ’ second identity before granting new or extra recognition. When you place a fraud alert on an Equifax credit report, Equifax will refer the fraud alert request to the other two nationally citation agency – Experian and TransUnion – so they can besides place the same alert on your rear or loved one ‘s recognition reports. An initial fraud alarm lasts for one year, and can be renewed. To request a fraud alert be placed on your parent or loved one ‘s Equifax credit report, you can download this form and follow the instructions .
If the person has been a victim of identity larceny and you have a patrol report or an FTC Identity Theft Report, you can request a 7-year cover fraud alert be placed on their credit reports. Learn more about imposter alerts and security freezes.
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Keep track of credit card charges and bank account activity
You ’ ll want to keep an eye out for any indications of fraud or identity larceny – unauthorized charges or withdrawals, for exemplify .
Taking over a sleep together one ’ s finances and citation accounts is an important task, and it ’ s worth taking the time to do your homework and get all your questions answered to secure their fiscal future and help better protect them against imposter, identity larceny and fiscal mistreat. If you need help, there are many resources and professionals who can help you navigate the action .