Most of us have subscriptions to a number of information and/or service provider platforms that we pay on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. In general, we subscribe to these membership by authorizing an automated payment, either against a credit card or as a direct debit from a checking or transaction account.
In addition to managing the subscriptions as per the instructions below, you will need to ensure - in all cases - that the automatic payments cease at your death.
As part of the information you leave with your financial accounts, we recommend that you include a list of these regular payments that will need to be stopped. Often, without even realizing it, we seem to sign up for new subscriptions or memberships.
To prepare for your own passing, or as the Executor/Executrix or Person-in-Charge (PIC) for someone who has passed, handling subscriptions, memberships, and loyalty programs can be one of the easier steps to manage.
Mostly, the deceased no longer needs the membership or subscription.
However, there are several steps that must be taken to ensure that the account is closed in a timely manner so that payments are not debited from a credit card or bank account.
Also, any residual value needs to be handled appropriately. Sometimes, partial credit may be available. With some memberships, "points" can be transferred to the closest family member.If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist.
Many of us subscribe - either for print and/or online versions - to various information providers, such as:
Some of these are monthly payments such as newspapers, and other are annual payments, such as Amazon Prime.
As part of your regular review of recurring costs, you will want to cancel any that you do not use, as you downsize and look to reduce expenses.
If you have made a list of these providers for your Executor/Executrix or Person-in-Charge (PIC) at the time of your passing, be sure to keep the list current with:
In the last several years, "box" delivery subscriptions have grown exponentially, including:
As with subscriptions, you will need to leave a list of these for your PIC, and include the same information:
Americans are addicted to membership programs and "point" crazy! I say this returning to the U.S. after living in Europe for 12 years. The work that people do to earn the most "points" - of anything! - could qualify as a full time job! This translates into joining a number of loyalty programs:
The ones listed above accrue inherent value of some kind, either for free travel or hotel rooms, free food and/or drinks, or purchasing power from a defined catalogue.
You will need to ensure that a list of these program memberships, including your Membership ID and passcode are available to your Executor/Executrix or PIC.
If you are survived by a spouse or immediate family members, these points can normally be transferred to close family members. Subsequently, they may benefit from the points you accrued.
We are a social species, and we tend to join clubs that are labelled as clubs, and sometimes hide behind other names. Be sure to list any memberships that you have, such as:
There are many other types of clubs, but the focus here is on those that charge a membership fee of some kind, which may be automatically debited from your account. As we have recommended above, please ensure that you have provided a list with:
There is a wide variety of other subscription services with which you or the deceased may have enrolled. These can be as diverse as:
Again, the most important question when it comes to closing down subscriptions or memberships is:
and if so
If there is a fee, then you will need to ensure that your Executor/Executrixor or Person-in-Charge has all of the relevant information needed to cancel them and stop the payments.
Step-by-step guide to what to do first. Calls, paperwork, care arrangements, etc.
Detailed guide to prepare or fulfill final wishes
Where do you start? Physical remains, funeral options, death certificates, memorial services and more
Next hurdel - how to handle financial and records and accounts
Key reinders on securing residences - owned or rented, apartments or houses - after the death of a loved one.
What you need to know to protect and eliminate the deceased's digital presence
Funny, helpful and special stories that others have shared to help you through the process
For each section, dowloand and personalize a pdf checklist