Barrett Legacy Estate Solutions

Bills and Services to Cancel or Keep When a Loved One Dies

A loved one’s passing is challenging on many different levels. In addition to the emotional difficulty of processing someone’s death, there are also the many tasks that must be dealt with, such as going through their various accounts and taking the necessary steps to cancel them or transfer ownership.

Most people subscribe to multiple digital subscription services in addition to utilities, insurance, memberships, medical prescriptions, and other recurring payment programs. Settling these accounts helps avoid unnecessary charges and protect against identity theft and fraud. If the duty to handle outstanding accounts falls to you, you will first want to identify which accounts your loved one held and then figure out what to do with them.

Deciding Whether to Cancel or Keep an Account:

The first step is to figure out what accounts the deceased had by looking through their mail, email, or phone notifications. You may get lucky, as the deceased may have compiled a list as part of their estate plan. Once you have identified what accounts were in the deceased’s name, you can move on to the next step of deciding whether to cancel or keep them.

Subscription Services:

Subscription services are low-hanging fruit. Unless the service has a shared family plan, it can most likely be canceled. In addition to digital media services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, YouTube TV, and Apple TV, do not forget delivery services like Amazon Prime, Walmart+, and subscription box services. Also keep in mind that Amazon Prime and Walmart+ members may have recurring monthly deliveries for certain items.


Utilities may need to be temporarily kept in the deceased’s name, transferred to another account holder, or canceled, depending on the circumstances.

Miscellaneous Accounts:

Many accounts fit into the main buckets listed above, but it may take a thorough sleuthing effort to uncover every account linked to a loved one’s name. Here are some more examples of accounts you may need to resolve, either by canceling or, where possible, transferring account ownership:

As you deal with the emotional challenges of a death in the family, you may be simultaneously navigating legal issues related to losing someone close to you. Being named an estate administrator or executor comes with a lot of responsibility. Our estate planning attorneys offer services tailored to executors that help them do right by their loved one—and the law.

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