How To Cancel a Deceased Person's Subscriptions the EASY Way

|

Nov 14, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

how to cancel a deceased person's subscriptions

How To Cancel a Deceased Person's Subscriptions the EASY Way

|

Nov 14, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

How To Cancel a Deceased Person's Subscriptions the EASY Way

|

Nov 14, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

how to cancel a deceased person's subscriptions

How To Cancel a Deceased Person's Subscriptions the EASY Way

|

Nov 14, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

how to cancel a deceased person's subscriptions

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

When a loved one passes, there are bills and subscription services they leave behind that someone must take care of. It can be quite challenging If you’re the one responsible for these tasks. You might be wondering where to begin finding the subscriptions that need to be canceled.

We’ll provide steps and general tips on what you need to do to stop all the automatic charges to your loved one’s account.

Key Takeaways

  • Canceling the deceased subscriptions requires you to gather information and documents, make a list of the providers, and contact the providers. 


  • Not every subscription service is the same. Depending on the nature of the service, some may require you to have a death certificate and proof of legal testimony.


  • Following tips on organization and note-taking skills can help you keep track of the necessary steps to cancel subscriptions.

How to Cancel a Deceased Person’s Subscriptions

cancel a deceased person's subscriptions

Trying to delete a subscription service belonging to a deceased person can be tricky. You must investigate how many subscriptions they had and gather the necessary info to cancel them. 

Here are some tips on how to cancel their subscriptions:

Gather Information and Documents

To begin canceling subscriptions, you need to gather information. If you can’t find the login information of the deceased person’s account, investigate if the charges are occurring on a debit or credit card. Identifying the card information will help you tremendously.

Some subscriptions might demand proof of death or that you’re a legal guardian. In that case, gather the documents to provide ample evidence, such as a copy of the will or living trust, and a copy of the death certificate.

Having to gather and compile all those documents can be tricky. Here at Trustworthy, we offer services to ensure you’re well-organized in managing your important family documents.

Make a Comprehensive List of Subscriptions

The average person in the U.S. has around 12 active subscriptions. On top of that, almost half of the population forgets they’re subscribed to a service. As you can imagine, having to identify them is challenging and time-consuming.

The best way to start is by creating a list of known subscriptions. Write down the ones you immediately know off hand. After that, try to access the deceased person’s bank account and find recurring charges. Make a list of any you find for fast reference.

Be sure to make your list detailed and well-organized. Include the amount being charged and to which debit or credit card. Also, include info regarding the type of subscription service it is (credit card services, phone, magazines, utility bills, memberships, etc). 

Contact Subscription Providers

Begin researching each service provider and finding methods of how to contact them.

You can find the subscription provider by Googling them and finding their official website. Look for a contact page that includes an email address and phone number.

While you can send an email, the fastest and most direct way to contact them is by phone. When you call, be prepared to explain the situation to them.

You should also have a pen and paper ready to write down any instructions they provide to you.

How to Cancel Each Type of Subscription

how to cancel each type of subscription

Some subscription services differ in terms of approach to how to cancel them. Here are some tips to follow on canceling specific kinds of subscription services.

Keep a record of your communications with these services to ensure there will be no disputes later if they arise.

Credit Card Charges

Stopping credit card charges is one of the most time-consuming parts of canceling recurring charges for a deceased person. However, it will help with automatically canceling recurring costs.

Stephen Lesavich, the founder and CEO of Lesavich High-Tech Law Group advises:

“Survivors must take action quickly to avoid legal or financial problems. Notification of death to the credit card issuer is not automatic, and credit cards are not automatically canceled upon a death.” 

You will need to provide documentation, such as a certificate of death and proof of legal representation of kin, to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and then the bank to begin the process.

Contact the bureaus and the bank's customer service number and notify them of the person’s death. If you have a joint account status for the bank, the charges will be your responsibility. 

Phone Bills 

Canceling phone charges also requires you to provide documentation of death proof and legal representation. Once you have those, you can plan to contact the phone service company and notify them of the person’s death.

If the deceased person had any leased items, such as a phone or any other product, you will likely need to gather them and return them. Failing to return the items could result in extra charges.

Any outstanding balances will need to be paid back one way or another. They can be paid from the person’s bank account or through liquidation of assets they own.

Magazine Subscriptions

Canceling magazine subscriptions can be tricky if the deceased person subscribed to more than one service. If you suspect they had more than one, try to identify the businesses associated with them.

You can then start researching the magazine companies for their contact info. Be prepared to follow the instructions they give you to cancel. You may also want to provide documents of legal representation kinship just in case they ask.

Utility Bills

Canceling utility bill charges is similar to canceling phone bills. You will need documentation of proof of death and legal representation. You will also need to return any items loaned out to you depending on the type of utility bill it is (modems, routers, cable boxes, etc).

Cancel these recurring bills as fast as possible, as they tend to be some of the most expensive charges. Identify the bill providers you need to reach out to. Be prepared to follow instructions and take note of what to do.

Any outstanding balances will likely need to be paid off.

Medication Bills

Like magazine subscriptions, medication bills can also be tedious if the deceased person had multiple medications from multiple healthcare providers. If they kept all their medication information in Trustworthy, a platform where you can organize all your family information, then identifying the healthcare providers is more straightforward. 

Before you reach out to the healthcare providers, Be prepared to have the death certificate ready, along with any other proof of legal representation. You may also need their health record account number ready for easier identification. Once you have everything, request to stop all refills immediately.

If any outstanding balances are due, reach out to the deceased’s insurance company. They may be able to cover the remaining costs.

Mail

Stopping mail to a deceased person’s home will require a death certificate and proof of legal authority. You will also have to sign a forwarding service form at the USPS post office to ensure all incoming mail is sent back automatically.

You may also need to return some of the mail or packages to the senders, depending on where they’re from.

Memberships

Membership charges to places such as Costco, Sam's Club, and other organizations tend to be more straightforward than the previous types of recurring charges. With proof of legal authority and death certification, it should be as simple as asking them to cancel the membership.

You may want to ask the membership service representative if it would be possible to get a refund. If the charge was recent, they could potentially refund the money back.

Practical Tips and Closure Suggestions

practical tips and closure suggestions

Managing and keeping track of all the recurring charges can be very stressful. Here are some general tips and suggestions you can consider to help make handling the situation more bearable:

Stay Organized

The organization of your information is very important to proceed in canceling all the subscriptions and bills. A detailed list of the subscriptions and things you need to do helps make things easier to approach. Keeping all your important documents together is a must.

To make things less overwhelming, rank the things in your list that should be prioritized. Gradually mark each object off the list as you go. This is satisfying and reassuring.

Protect the Deceased’s Online Identity

One thing some people forget is despite being deceased, their identity can still be stolen and be used for malicious purposes. People can scam friends and family members who are unaware of the person’s passing.

While you work toward getting the word out and canceling all the subscriptions and services, be cautious in how you handle the deceased person’s sensitive information. Be mindful of who you give their social security number to, and ensure none of their important documents get stolen.

It’s best practice to contact the service providers directly and be aware of their policies around sensitive data. Additionally, using a service like Trustworthy will ensure all your information is in one secure place.

Document Everything

Writing down the things you accomplished can help you stay on track with your goals. This is also beneficial if you forget something crucial or if the subscription service makes an error you need to correct.

Get into the habit of documenting important facts during conversations with the service provider. Remember to write down the representative’s name so you can have proof of the conversation in the future if needed.

Handling Stubborn/Complex Subscriptions

There may be some instances where the service provider you’re dealing with is hard to work with. Unsurprisingly, some of these services try to make manners as complex as possible so they can continue charging the account.

The important thing is just to keep trying and be persistent. They may make it a challenge for you, but eventually, you can get the services canceled. If you feel they’re too challenging to work with, make a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

Monitor Statements

Monitoring bank statements is the best way to ensure you know the charges have stopped. 

Always keep checking bank statements after the service agrees to stop recurring payments. If you continue to see charges, contact that service provider immediately and demand an explanation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens to subscriptions when someone dies?

Subscriptions will typically continue to be charged to the account unless formally notified. After they are notified, you can either cancel the subscription cost or transfer it to another person who wishes to continue maintaining the account spending on the type of service.

How do I stop automatic payments when someone dies?

Automatic payments will typically continue to occur unless you contact the service and tell them to stop. Sometimes, canceling the deceased person’s credit card will also stop certain automatic payments.

If you’re reaching out on behalf of the deceased person, you may need documentation to show you are a legal repeat of the person to stop the automatic payments.

Do you need a death certificate to cancel credit cards?

Yes, credit cards are one of the services that will require a death certificate to stop the automatic payments. If you’re responsible for that person’s balance, you may need to pay it off or come up with a method to clear the remaining fees.

How soon after someone dies should you notify the bank?

Notify the bank as soon as possible. They will help you put a stop to any remaining charges that are happening to the deceased person’s account. The sooner they’re notified, the better to event any more charges.

When a loved one passes, there are bills and subscription services they leave behind that someone must take care of. It can be quite challenging If you’re the one responsible for these tasks. You might be wondering where to begin finding the subscriptions that need to be canceled.

We’ll provide steps and general tips on what you need to do to stop all the automatic charges to your loved one’s account.

Key Takeaways

  • Canceling the deceased subscriptions requires you to gather information and documents, make a list of the providers, and contact the providers. 


  • Not every subscription service is the same. Depending on the nature of the service, some may require you to have a death certificate and proof of legal testimony.


  • Following tips on organization and note-taking skills can help you keep track of the necessary steps to cancel subscriptions.

How to Cancel a Deceased Person’s Subscriptions

cancel a deceased person's subscriptions

Trying to delete a subscription service belonging to a deceased person can be tricky. You must investigate how many subscriptions they had and gather the necessary info to cancel them. 

Here are some tips on how to cancel their subscriptions:

Gather Information and Documents

To begin canceling subscriptions, you need to gather information. If you can’t find the login information of the deceased person’s account, investigate if the charges are occurring on a debit or credit card. Identifying the card information will help you tremendously.

Some subscriptions might demand proof of death or that you’re a legal guardian. In that case, gather the documents to provide ample evidence, such as a copy of the will or living trust, and a copy of the death certificate.

Having to gather and compile all those documents can be tricky. Here at Trustworthy, we offer services to ensure you’re well-organized in managing your important family documents.

Make a Comprehensive List of Subscriptions

The average person in the U.S. has around 12 active subscriptions. On top of that, almost half of the population forgets they’re subscribed to a service. As you can imagine, having to identify them is challenging and time-consuming.

The best way to start is by creating a list of known subscriptions. Write down the ones you immediately know off hand. After that, try to access the deceased person’s bank account and find recurring charges. Make a list of any you find for fast reference.

Be sure to make your list detailed and well-organized. Include the amount being charged and to which debit or credit card. Also, include info regarding the type of subscription service it is (credit card services, phone, magazines, utility bills, memberships, etc). 

Contact Subscription Providers

Begin researching each service provider and finding methods of how to contact them.

You can find the subscription provider by Googling them and finding their official website. Look for a contact page that includes an email address and phone number.

While you can send an email, the fastest and most direct way to contact them is by phone. When you call, be prepared to explain the situation to them.

You should also have a pen and paper ready to write down any instructions they provide to you.

How to Cancel Each Type of Subscription

how to cancel each type of subscription

Some subscription services differ in terms of approach to how to cancel them. Here are some tips to follow on canceling specific kinds of subscription services.

Keep a record of your communications with these services to ensure there will be no disputes later if they arise.

Credit Card Charges

Stopping credit card charges is one of the most time-consuming parts of canceling recurring charges for a deceased person. However, it will help with automatically canceling recurring costs.

Stephen Lesavich, the founder and CEO of Lesavich High-Tech Law Group advises:

“Survivors must take action quickly to avoid legal or financial problems. Notification of death to the credit card issuer is not automatic, and credit cards are not automatically canceled upon a death.” 

You will need to provide documentation, such as a certificate of death and proof of legal representation of kin, to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and then the bank to begin the process.

Contact the bureaus and the bank's customer service number and notify them of the person’s death. If you have a joint account status for the bank, the charges will be your responsibility. 

Phone Bills 

Canceling phone charges also requires you to provide documentation of death proof and legal representation. Once you have those, you can plan to contact the phone service company and notify them of the person’s death.

If the deceased person had any leased items, such as a phone or any other product, you will likely need to gather them and return them. Failing to return the items could result in extra charges.

Any outstanding balances will need to be paid back one way or another. They can be paid from the person’s bank account or through liquidation of assets they own.

Magazine Subscriptions

Canceling magazine subscriptions can be tricky if the deceased person subscribed to more than one service. If you suspect they had more than one, try to identify the businesses associated with them.

You can then start researching the magazine companies for their contact info. Be prepared to follow the instructions they give you to cancel. You may also want to provide documents of legal representation kinship just in case they ask.

Utility Bills

Canceling utility bill charges is similar to canceling phone bills. You will need documentation of proof of death and legal representation. You will also need to return any items loaned out to you depending on the type of utility bill it is (modems, routers, cable boxes, etc).

Cancel these recurring bills as fast as possible, as they tend to be some of the most expensive charges. Identify the bill providers you need to reach out to. Be prepared to follow instructions and take note of what to do.

Any outstanding balances will likely need to be paid off.

Medication Bills

Like magazine subscriptions, medication bills can also be tedious if the deceased person had multiple medications from multiple healthcare providers. If they kept all their medication information in Trustworthy, a platform where you can organize all your family information, then identifying the healthcare providers is more straightforward. 

Before you reach out to the healthcare providers, Be prepared to have the death certificate ready, along with any other proof of legal representation. You may also need their health record account number ready for easier identification. Once you have everything, request to stop all refills immediately.

If any outstanding balances are due, reach out to the deceased’s insurance company. They may be able to cover the remaining costs.

Mail

Stopping mail to a deceased person’s home will require a death certificate and proof of legal authority. You will also have to sign a forwarding service form at the USPS post office to ensure all incoming mail is sent back automatically.

You may also need to return some of the mail or packages to the senders, depending on where they’re from.

Memberships

Membership charges to places such as Costco, Sam's Club, and other organizations tend to be more straightforward than the previous types of recurring charges. With proof of legal authority and death certification, it should be as simple as asking them to cancel the membership.

You may want to ask the membership service representative if it would be possible to get a refund. If the charge was recent, they could potentially refund the money back.

Practical Tips and Closure Suggestions

practical tips and closure suggestions

Managing and keeping track of all the recurring charges can be very stressful. Here are some general tips and suggestions you can consider to help make handling the situation more bearable:

Stay Organized

The organization of your information is very important to proceed in canceling all the subscriptions and bills. A detailed list of the subscriptions and things you need to do helps make things easier to approach. Keeping all your important documents together is a must.

To make things less overwhelming, rank the things in your list that should be prioritized. Gradually mark each object off the list as you go. This is satisfying and reassuring.

Protect the Deceased’s Online Identity

One thing some people forget is despite being deceased, their identity can still be stolen and be used for malicious purposes. People can scam friends and family members who are unaware of the person’s passing.

While you work toward getting the word out and canceling all the subscriptions and services, be cautious in how you handle the deceased person’s sensitive information. Be mindful of who you give their social security number to, and ensure none of their important documents get stolen.

It’s best practice to contact the service providers directly and be aware of their policies around sensitive data. Additionally, using a service like Trustworthy will ensure all your information is in one secure place.

Document Everything

Writing down the things you accomplished can help you stay on track with your goals. This is also beneficial if you forget something crucial or if the subscription service makes an error you need to correct.

Get into the habit of documenting important facts during conversations with the service provider. Remember to write down the representative’s name so you can have proof of the conversation in the future if needed.

Handling Stubborn/Complex Subscriptions

There may be some instances where the service provider you’re dealing with is hard to work with. Unsurprisingly, some of these services try to make manners as complex as possible so they can continue charging the account.

The important thing is just to keep trying and be persistent. They may make it a challenge for you, but eventually, you can get the services canceled. If you feel they’re too challenging to work with, make a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

Monitor Statements

Monitoring bank statements is the best way to ensure you know the charges have stopped. 

Always keep checking bank statements after the service agrees to stop recurring payments. If you continue to see charges, contact that service provider immediately and demand an explanation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens to subscriptions when someone dies?

Subscriptions will typically continue to be charged to the account unless formally notified. After they are notified, you can either cancel the subscription cost or transfer it to another person who wishes to continue maintaining the account spending on the type of service.

How do I stop automatic payments when someone dies?

Automatic payments will typically continue to occur unless you contact the service and tell them to stop. Sometimes, canceling the deceased person’s credit card will also stop certain automatic payments.

If you’re reaching out on behalf of the deceased person, you may need documentation to show you are a legal repeat of the person to stop the automatic payments.

Do you need a death certificate to cancel credit cards?

Yes, credit cards are one of the services that will require a death certificate to stop the automatic payments. If you’re responsible for that person’s balance, you may need to pay it off or come up with a method to clear the remaining fees.

How soon after someone dies should you notify the bank?

Notify the bank as soon as possible. They will help you put a stop to any remaining charges that are happening to the deceased person’s account. The sooner they’re notified, the better to event any more charges.

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

When a loved one passes, there are bills and subscription services they leave behind that someone must take care of. It can be quite challenging If you’re the one responsible for these tasks. You might be wondering where to begin finding the subscriptions that need to be canceled.

We’ll provide steps and general tips on what you need to do to stop all the automatic charges to your loved one’s account.

Key Takeaways

  • Canceling the deceased subscriptions requires you to gather information and documents, make a list of the providers, and contact the providers. 


  • Not every subscription service is the same. Depending on the nature of the service, some may require you to have a death certificate and proof of legal testimony.


  • Following tips on organization and note-taking skills can help you keep track of the necessary steps to cancel subscriptions.

How to Cancel a Deceased Person’s Subscriptions

cancel a deceased person's subscriptions

Trying to delete a subscription service belonging to a deceased person can be tricky. You must investigate how many subscriptions they had and gather the necessary info to cancel them. 

Here are some tips on how to cancel their subscriptions:

Gather Information and Documents

To begin canceling subscriptions, you need to gather information. If you can’t find the login information of the deceased person’s account, investigate if the charges are occurring on a debit or credit card. Identifying the card information will help you tremendously.

Some subscriptions might demand proof of death or that you’re a legal guardian. In that case, gather the documents to provide ample evidence, such as a copy of the will or living trust, and a copy of the death certificate.

Having to gather and compile all those documents can be tricky. Here at Trustworthy, we offer services to ensure you’re well-organized in managing your important family documents.

Make a Comprehensive List of Subscriptions

The average person in the U.S. has around 12 active subscriptions. On top of that, almost half of the population forgets they’re subscribed to a service. As you can imagine, having to identify them is challenging and time-consuming.

The best way to start is by creating a list of known subscriptions. Write down the ones you immediately know off hand. After that, try to access the deceased person’s bank account and find recurring charges. Make a list of any you find for fast reference.

Be sure to make your list detailed and well-organized. Include the amount being charged and to which debit or credit card. Also, include info regarding the type of subscription service it is (credit card services, phone, magazines, utility bills, memberships, etc). 

Contact Subscription Providers

Begin researching each service provider and finding methods of how to contact them.

You can find the subscription provider by Googling them and finding their official website. Look for a contact page that includes an email address and phone number.

While you can send an email, the fastest and most direct way to contact them is by phone. When you call, be prepared to explain the situation to them.

You should also have a pen and paper ready to write down any instructions they provide to you.

How to Cancel Each Type of Subscription

how to cancel each type of subscription

Some subscription services differ in terms of approach to how to cancel them. Here are some tips to follow on canceling specific kinds of subscription services.

Keep a record of your communications with these services to ensure there will be no disputes later if they arise.

Credit Card Charges

Stopping credit card charges is one of the most time-consuming parts of canceling recurring charges for a deceased person. However, it will help with automatically canceling recurring costs.

Stephen Lesavich, the founder and CEO of Lesavich High-Tech Law Group advises:

“Survivors must take action quickly to avoid legal or financial problems. Notification of death to the credit card issuer is not automatic, and credit cards are not automatically canceled upon a death.” 

You will need to provide documentation, such as a certificate of death and proof of legal representation of kin, to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and then the bank to begin the process.

Contact the bureaus and the bank's customer service number and notify them of the person’s death. If you have a joint account status for the bank, the charges will be your responsibility. 

Phone Bills 

Canceling phone charges also requires you to provide documentation of death proof and legal representation. Once you have those, you can plan to contact the phone service company and notify them of the person’s death.

If the deceased person had any leased items, such as a phone or any other product, you will likely need to gather them and return them. Failing to return the items could result in extra charges.

Any outstanding balances will need to be paid back one way or another. They can be paid from the person’s bank account or through liquidation of assets they own.

Magazine Subscriptions

Canceling magazine subscriptions can be tricky if the deceased person subscribed to more than one service. If you suspect they had more than one, try to identify the businesses associated with them.

You can then start researching the magazine companies for their contact info. Be prepared to follow the instructions they give you to cancel. You may also want to provide documents of legal representation kinship just in case they ask.

Utility Bills

Canceling utility bill charges is similar to canceling phone bills. You will need documentation of proof of death and legal representation. You will also need to return any items loaned out to you depending on the type of utility bill it is (modems, routers, cable boxes, etc).

Cancel these recurring bills as fast as possible, as they tend to be some of the most expensive charges. Identify the bill providers you need to reach out to. Be prepared to follow instructions and take note of what to do.

Any outstanding balances will likely need to be paid off.

Medication Bills

Like magazine subscriptions, medication bills can also be tedious if the deceased person had multiple medications from multiple healthcare providers. If they kept all their medication information in Trustworthy, a platform where you can organize all your family information, then identifying the healthcare providers is more straightforward. 

Before you reach out to the healthcare providers, Be prepared to have the death certificate ready, along with any other proof of legal representation. You may also need their health record account number ready for easier identification. Once you have everything, request to stop all refills immediately.

If any outstanding balances are due, reach out to the deceased’s insurance company. They may be able to cover the remaining costs.

Mail

Stopping mail to a deceased person’s home will require a death certificate and proof of legal authority. You will also have to sign a forwarding service form at the USPS post office to ensure all incoming mail is sent back automatically.

You may also need to return some of the mail or packages to the senders, depending on where they’re from.

Memberships

Membership charges to places such as Costco, Sam's Club, and other organizations tend to be more straightforward than the previous types of recurring charges. With proof of legal authority and death certification, it should be as simple as asking them to cancel the membership.

You may want to ask the membership service representative if it would be possible to get a refund. If the charge was recent, they could potentially refund the money back.

Practical Tips and Closure Suggestions

practical tips and closure suggestions

Managing and keeping track of all the recurring charges can be very stressful. Here are some general tips and suggestions you can consider to help make handling the situation more bearable:

Stay Organized

The organization of your information is very important to proceed in canceling all the subscriptions and bills. A detailed list of the subscriptions and things you need to do helps make things easier to approach. Keeping all your important documents together is a must.

To make things less overwhelming, rank the things in your list that should be prioritized. Gradually mark each object off the list as you go. This is satisfying and reassuring.

Protect the Deceased’s Online Identity

One thing some people forget is despite being deceased, their identity can still be stolen and be used for malicious purposes. People can scam friends and family members who are unaware of the person’s passing.

While you work toward getting the word out and canceling all the subscriptions and services, be cautious in how you handle the deceased person’s sensitive information. Be mindful of who you give their social security number to, and ensure none of their important documents get stolen.

It’s best practice to contact the service providers directly and be aware of their policies around sensitive data. Additionally, using a service like Trustworthy will ensure all your information is in one secure place.

Document Everything

Writing down the things you accomplished can help you stay on track with your goals. This is also beneficial if you forget something crucial or if the subscription service makes an error you need to correct.

Get into the habit of documenting important facts during conversations with the service provider. Remember to write down the representative’s name so you can have proof of the conversation in the future if needed.

Handling Stubborn/Complex Subscriptions

There may be some instances where the service provider you’re dealing with is hard to work with. Unsurprisingly, some of these services try to make manners as complex as possible so they can continue charging the account.

The important thing is just to keep trying and be persistent. They may make it a challenge for you, but eventually, you can get the services canceled. If you feel they’re too challenging to work with, make a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

Monitor Statements

Monitoring bank statements is the best way to ensure you know the charges have stopped. 

Always keep checking bank statements after the service agrees to stop recurring payments. If you continue to see charges, contact that service provider immediately and demand an explanation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens to subscriptions when someone dies?

Subscriptions will typically continue to be charged to the account unless formally notified. After they are notified, you can either cancel the subscription cost or transfer it to another person who wishes to continue maintaining the account spending on the type of service.

How do I stop automatic payments when someone dies?

Automatic payments will typically continue to occur unless you contact the service and tell them to stop. Sometimes, canceling the deceased person’s credit card will also stop certain automatic payments.

If you’re reaching out on behalf of the deceased person, you may need documentation to show you are a legal repeat of the person to stop the automatic payments.

Do you need a death certificate to cancel credit cards?

Yes, credit cards are one of the services that will require a death certificate to stop the automatic payments. If you’re responsible for that person’s balance, you may need to pay it off or come up with a method to clear the remaining fees.

How soon after someone dies should you notify the bank?

Notify the bank as soon as possible. They will help you put a stop to any remaining charges that are happening to the deceased person’s account. The sooner they’re notified, the better to event any more charges.

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

When a loved one passes, there are bills and subscription services they leave behind that someone must take care of. It can be quite challenging If you’re the one responsible for these tasks. You might be wondering where to begin finding the subscriptions that need to be canceled.

We’ll provide steps and general tips on what you need to do to stop all the automatic charges to your loved one’s account.

Key Takeaways

  • Canceling the deceased subscriptions requires you to gather information and documents, make a list of the providers, and contact the providers. 


  • Not every subscription service is the same. Depending on the nature of the service, some may require you to have a death certificate and proof of legal testimony.


  • Following tips on organization and note-taking skills can help you keep track of the necessary steps to cancel subscriptions.

How to Cancel a Deceased Person’s Subscriptions

cancel a deceased person's subscriptions

Trying to delete a subscription service belonging to a deceased person can be tricky. You must investigate how many subscriptions they had and gather the necessary info to cancel them. 

Here are some tips on how to cancel their subscriptions:

Gather Information and Documents

To begin canceling subscriptions, you need to gather information. If you can’t find the login information of the deceased person’s account, investigate if the charges are occurring on a debit or credit card. Identifying the card information will help you tremendously.

Some subscriptions might demand proof of death or that you’re a legal guardian. In that case, gather the documents to provide ample evidence, such as a copy of the will or living trust, and a copy of the death certificate.

Having to gather and compile all those documents can be tricky. Here at Trustworthy, we offer services to ensure you’re well-organized in managing your important family documents.

Make a Comprehensive List of Subscriptions

The average person in the U.S. has around 12 active subscriptions. On top of that, almost half of the population forgets they’re subscribed to a service. As you can imagine, having to identify them is challenging and time-consuming.

The best way to start is by creating a list of known subscriptions. Write down the ones you immediately know off hand. After that, try to access the deceased person’s bank account and find recurring charges. Make a list of any you find for fast reference.

Be sure to make your list detailed and well-organized. Include the amount being charged and to which debit or credit card. Also, include info regarding the type of subscription service it is (credit card services, phone, magazines, utility bills, memberships, etc). 

Contact Subscription Providers

Begin researching each service provider and finding methods of how to contact them.

You can find the subscription provider by Googling them and finding their official website. Look for a contact page that includes an email address and phone number.

While you can send an email, the fastest and most direct way to contact them is by phone. When you call, be prepared to explain the situation to them.

You should also have a pen and paper ready to write down any instructions they provide to you.

How to Cancel Each Type of Subscription

how to cancel each type of subscription

Some subscription services differ in terms of approach to how to cancel them. Here are some tips to follow on canceling specific kinds of subscription services.

Keep a record of your communications with these services to ensure there will be no disputes later if they arise.

Credit Card Charges

Stopping credit card charges is one of the most time-consuming parts of canceling recurring charges for a deceased person. However, it will help with automatically canceling recurring costs.

Stephen Lesavich, the founder and CEO of Lesavich High-Tech Law Group advises:

“Survivors must take action quickly to avoid legal or financial problems. Notification of death to the credit card issuer is not automatic, and credit cards are not automatically canceled upon a death.” 

You will need to provide documentation, such as a certificate of death and proof of legal representation of kin, to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and then the bank to begin the process.

Contact the bureaus and the bank's customer service number and notify them of the person’s death. If you have a joint account status for the bank, the charges will be your responsibility. 

Phone Bills 

Canceling phone charges also requires you to provide documentation of death proof and legal representation. Once you have those, you can plan to contact the phone service company and notify them of the person’s death.

If the deceased person had any leased items, such as a phone or any other product, you will likely need to gather them and return them. Failing to return the items could result in extra charges.

Any outstanding balances will need to be paid back one way or another. They can be paid from the person’s bank account or through liquidation of assets they own.

Magazine Subscriptions

Canceling magazine subscriptions can be tricky if the deceased person subscribed to more than one service. If you suspect they had more than one, try to identify the businesses associated with them.

You can then start researching the magazine companies for their contact info. Be prepared to follow the instructions they give you to cancel. You may also want to provide documents of legal representation kinship just in case they ask.

Utility Bills

Canceling utility bill charges is similar to canceling phone bills. You will need documentation of proof of death and legal representation. You will also need to return any items loaned out to you depending on the type of utility bill it is (modems, routers, cable boxes, etc).

Cancel these recurring bills as fast as possible, as they tend to be some of the most expensive charges. Identify the bill providers you need to reach out to. Be prepared to follow instructions and take note of what to do.

Any outstanding balances will likely need to be paid off.

Medication Bills

Like magazine subscriptions, medication bills can also be tedious if the deceased person had multiple medications from multiple healthcare providers. If they kept all their medication information in Trustworthy, a platform where you can organize all your family information, then identifying the healthcare providers is more straightforward. 

Before you reach out to the healthcare providers, Be prepared to have the death certificate ready, along with any other proof of legal representation. You may also need their health record account number ready for easier identification. Once you have everything, request to stop all refills immediately.

If any outstanding balances are due, reach out to the deceased’s insurance company. They may be able to cover the remaining costs.

Mail

Stopping mail to a deceased person’s home will require a death certificate and proof of legal authority. You will also have to sign a forwarding service form at the USPS post office to ensure all incoming mail is sent back automatically.

You may also need to return some of the mail or packages to the senders, depending on where they’re from.

Memberships

Membership charges to places such as Costco, Sam's Club, and other organizations tend to be more straightforward than the previous types of recurring charges. With proof of legal authority and death certification, it should be as simple as asking them to cancel the membership.

You may want to ask the membership service representative if it would be possible to get a refund. If the charge was recent, they could potentially refund the money back.

Practical Tips and Closure Suggestions

practical tips and closure suggestions

Managing and keeping track of all the recurring charges can be very stressful. Here are some general tips and suggestions you can consider to help make handling the situation more bearable:

Stay Organized

The organization of your information is very important to proceed in canceling all the subscriptions and bills. A detailed list of the subscriptions and things you need to do helps make things easier to approach. Keeping all your important documents together is a must.

To make things less overwhelming, rank the things in your list that should be prioritized. Gradually mark each object off the list as you go. This is satisfying and reassuring.

Protect the Deceased’s Online Identity

One thing some people forget is despite being deceased, their identity can still be stolen and be used for malicious purposes. People can scam friends and family members who are unaware of the person’s passing.

While you work toward getting the word out and canceling all the subscriptions and services, be cautious in how you handle the deceased person’s sensitive information. Be mindful of who you give their social security number to, and ensure none of their important documents get stolen.

It’s best practice to contact the service providers directly and be aware of their policies around sensitive data. Additionally, using a service like Trustworthy will ensure all your information is in one secure place.

Document Everything

Writing down the things you accomplished can help you stay on track with your goals. This is also beneficial if you forget something crucial or if the subscription service makes an error you need to correct.

Get into the habit of documenting important facts during conversations with the service provider. Remember to write down the representative’s name so you can have proof of the conversation in the future if needed.

Handling Stubborn/Complex Subscriptions

There may be some instances where the service provider you’re dealing with is hard to work with. Unsurprisingly, some of these services try to make manners as complex as possible so they can continue charging the account.

The important thing is just to keep trying and be persistent. They may make it a challenge for you, but eventually, you can get the services canceled. If you feel they’re too challenging to work with, make a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

Monitor Statements

Monitoring bank statements is the best way to ensure you know the charges have stopped. 

Always keep checking bank statements after the service agrees to stop recurring payments. If you continue to see charges, contact that service provider immediately and demand an explanation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens to subscriptions when someone dies?

Subscriptions will typically continue to be charged to the account unless formally notified. After they are notified, you can either cancel the subscription cost or transfer it to another person who wishes to continue maintaining the account spending on the type of service.

How do I stop automatic payments when someone dies?

Automatic payments will typically continue to occur unless you contact the service and tell them to stop. Sometimes, canceling the deceased person’s credit card will also stop certain automatic payments.

If you’re reaching out on behalf of the deceased person, you may need documentation to show you are a legal repeat of the person to stop the automatic payments.

Do you need a death certificate to cancel credit cards?

Yes, credit cards are one of the services that will require a death certificate to stop the automatic payments. If you’re responsible for that person’s balance, you may need to pay it off or come up with a method to clear the remaining fees.

How soon after someone dies should you notify the bank?

Notify the bank as soon as possible. They will help you put a stop to any remaining charges that are happening to the deceased person’s account. The sooner they’re notified, the better to event any more charges.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

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