facebook icon email icon copy icon

How to Cancel Someone’s Phone After a Death

Dealing with bills and accounts is one of the many things a family or executor has to handle after someone passes away. Phone companies don’t stop billing an account unless they're aware of the death, so it's important that you get in touch with them to notify them of the death and close the account if you want to avoid being billed for a phone that isn’t in use.

What to do with a cellphone after a death

When someone dies, you should hang on to the phone, at least until you can wrap up closing the account. Hanging on the phone can help you cancel the cell phone after a death, since it'll help you easily identify the carrier that you need to get in touch with. If you want to keep any of the photos that are on the phone, you should either download them by uploading them to the iCloud or other photo storage app you use. It can also help to download any contacts that you want to keep off of the decedent's phone. Keep in mind that you can only do these things if you have the phone’s passcode. Once you're ready to dispose of the phone and/or cancel the service, it's time to get in touch with customer support.

How to find out what phone service someone has

The easiest way to find out what phone service someone, especially if they've passed away, is to check their phone. In the top right-hand corner of their phone, it will show you the name of the carrier that the phone is under. You do not need to unlock the phone for this to show, simply turn on the phone and look in the top right-hand corner.

If you don't have their phone in your possession, here are some other places you can look:

  • Check their bills. If they're still receiving paper bills, you'll be able to find the name of their phone carrier on one of the bills they received.
  • Check their emails. If you have access to their email, do a quick search in their inbox for 'phone' and see if any bills pop up.
  • Use an online directory. Using a site like Whitepages will let you enter in the full phone number of the decedent. Once you enter in the phone number, scroll down the page until you get to the section titled 'Phone Details'. The carrier will be listed under this section.

How to unlock a deceased person's phone

To unlock a deceased person's phone, you'll need at least one of the following for both iPhones and Androids:

  1. Know their passcode. If you know their passcode, this process is as easy as unlocking their phone by entering in their password. Once you have access, you'll be able to navigate their phone.
  2. Know their login (email and password) for their iCloud or Google account. If you have access to their iCloud or Google account, you can reset the passcode on the phone as long as the phone is tied to the respective iCloud or Google account.

In most cases, if you don't have access to the person's Apple or Google account and don't know their passcode, it's unlikely that you'll be able to unlock their phone. You'll need to contact support in these cases and explain that the phone holder passed away and you're trying to access their phone.

Depending on the company and representative you speak to, you may be able to gain access to the data on the phone provided you send them verification information, but you shouldn’t count on this.

How to close or cancel phone accounts after someone dies

The information needed and process by which you close a phone account depends entirely on the carrier you're contacting and working with. Find the relevant carrier in the list, gather the requested documentation, and get in touch with them through one of the listed methods in order to cancel someone's phone after they pass away.

Verizon

For more information on how to cancel Verizon wireless when someone dies, contact Verizon at 1-877-596-7577.

If you're the account owner, you can request the decedent's line be disconnected.

If the account owner was the decedent, you can request their account be disconnected by providing the representative with the last 4 digits of the deceased's Social Security number.

Sprint

Call Sprint's customer support line at 888-211-4727 to speak with a customer support representative.

You will need the following information:

  • Phone number
  • Account number
  • A recent bill
  • Death Certificate

Cricket Wireless

Call 1-800-274-2538 to close an account. You will need the following information:

  • Name on account
  • Phone #
  • Account four digit pin
  • Death Certificate

If you do not know the 4 digit pin on the account, you can request a one-time pin reset that's sent to the device itself. To request the reset, contact their support using one of the following methods:

US Cellular

Call 1-888-944-9400 and provide them with the following information:

  • Phone #
  • Name on account
  • Death certificate, an obituary, or a letter from the probate court or an attorney (you may need to visit an in-person US Cellular store for this part, you can find a store here.)

AT&T

To cancel an AT&T landline or cancel AT&T wireless, call 800-331-0500, select option 3 and then select option 3 again. You'll need to provide the decedent's Social Security number in order to avoid an Early Termination Fee. Provide the phone representative with the following information:

  • Mobile phone number
  • Social Security Number and/or Password

Metro PCS

Call 1-888-863-8768 and request account cancellation. You will need the following information:

  • Phone number
  • Account number
  • A Recent bill
  • Death certificate (You will likely need to bring this into a T-Mobile store, in-person).

T-Mobile

Call T-Mobile Customer Service at 1-877-746-0909 to begin the account closure process. You will need the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the account
  • Their mobile phone number
  • Date of death
  • Last four digits of the decedent's Social Security number

Mint Mobile

Call Mint Mobile at 1(800) 683-7392 and notify them of the death. You will likely need the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the account
  • Their mobile phone number
  • Date of death
  • Last four digits of the decedent's Social Security number

Visible

Contact Visible's customer support team by chat or Facebook Messenger, here.

You will likely need the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the account
  • Their mobile phone number
  • Their account number
  • Date of death
  • Last four digits of the decedent's Social Security number

Google Fi

Contact Google Fi's support team online or by phone, here. You will need a death certificate in order to close the account, the representative will guide you on where to submit this.

If you know the decedent's Google Fi's account information, you can close the account by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Google Fi website or app.
  2. Go to “Account.”
  3. Click Manage plan.
  4. Click Leave Google Fi and follow the instructions.

Consumer Cellular

Contact Consumer Cellular's support team online or by phone at (888) 345-5509.

You will likely need the following information:

  • The full name of the person on the account
  • Their mobile phone number
  • Their account number
  • Date of death
  • Last four digits of the decedent's Social Security number

Boost Mobile

Contact Boost Mobile's customer support department at 866-402-7366, Monday - Friday, 4 AM - 8 PM PST, Saturday & Sunday, 4 AM - 7 PM and notify them of the death.

Boost Mobile is a prepaid service, so an alternative method of cancelling the plan is to cease payment to the company, this will automatically cancel the service.

Xfinity Mobile

Take the following steps:

  1. Visit the bereavement support page.
  2. After you complete the security check, select 'Close the account permanently' and upload the documents asked for. Note: If you do not have a death certificate, you must upload a valid form of your own identification (such as a driver's license, passport, or ID card).
  3. Enter the requested information about the decedent and yourself and click Continue.
  4. You’ll be asked when you would like to disconnect services on the account.
  5. Once you’ve chosen when to disconnect the services, click Continue.
  6. Let them know where to mail the final statement.
  7. Review all the info you've entered to ensure it's accurate, then click Submit.
  8. You’ll receive a confirmation message and will also receive information on how to return equipment.
Want to see more articles like this? Like us on Facebook:
Last updated January 13, 2022
Rate this article
Average rating: N/A (0 votes)
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Comments