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I have to fill out a death certificate, and one of the questions is the maiden name of the parent...

Death records are public, and the maiden name plus some tiny amount of information is enough to access any remaining open bank records, close accounts, transfer funds and the like.

Is listing the name safe? A good idea?

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Marriage records are just as public as death records. So a death certificate is no more an exposure of personal information than a marriage certificate with your mother's maiden name. There are also for potential disclosure from an obituary (survived by a brother) or a newspaper article from her birth (parents names).

The more troubling thing, in that case, is how easily someone that knows you well could gain access to your accounts. Consider using different security questions for each account.

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    Or -- if you must give your mother's maiden name -- give some other name.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 1:54
  • Yes. and if you are going to give fake answers, be consistent so you can remember them. For example switch first-grade teacher with mothers maiden.
    – A.K.
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 14:26
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    I can't change the security questions set up by a deceased relative...
    – Bryce
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 16:04

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