By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate.com
Smart consumers know the value of good credit. But what happens to that credit record and score when someone dies?
Answer: The individual's credit accounts and files should be flagged with a so-called death indicator to protect against misuse of the information, including fraud and identity theft.
That flagging can occur in several ways, says Anthony Sprauve, a spokesman for myFICO.com, a consumer information website operated by FICO, which invented the FICO credit score.
The most direct way is for the executor of the deceased's estate to notify the three credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax -- of the person's death.
"That essentially prevents a FICO score from being created or a credit report from being pulled for that person," Sprauve says. "It shuts the process down."