Stopping Mail Delivery After Death | Trust & Will

Did you know that the United States Postal Service delivers 425 million pieces of mail per day and to 160 million delivery addresses? To say that the USPS is a well-oiled machine is an understatement. come rain or shine, the mail never stops coming. however, this also means that mail will still be delivered to someone who has passed away. A loved one will have to contact the postal service and request that mail delivery be stopped, but unfortunately, it’s not as simple as making a phone call. so how do you stop mail delivery? trust & amp; will reveals everything you need to know about stopping mail from a deceased person.

what happens to the mail when a person dies?

When someone dies, their mail will continue to be sent to their last registered address. It will continue to be delivered indefinitely, until an authorized person files an official request with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to stop mail delivery.

Receiving mail from a deceased person may be necessary and important for a certain period of time. For example, as a family member or executor, you may need the deceased person’s mail to resolve certain financial or business matters, and to help settle the estate. however, after all unfinished business is resolved, continued mail delivery can be not only unnecessary, but also a constant and painful reminder of your loss.

While there are no estate planning rules or laws that require you to stop mail from a deceased person, there will naturally come a time when you want to reduce or eliminate mail addressed to that person. the next section will go over the steps to stop mail from a deceased person.

how to stop mail from a deceased person

so how do you stop mail delivery for a loved one who has passed away? Although it’s not as simple as making a phone call to your local post office, you’ll find the process to be relatively simple as long as you know what to do and follow the steps correctly.

Before you begin, please note that the executor of the deceased person’s estate must stop the mail. The executor is the person who has been appointed by the probate court to handle the closing of the decedent’s estate, which includes the closing of her personal affairs. this could include notification of the death to the social security administration, credit bureaus, and the postal service, among other activities.

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If you receive mail from the deceased person at your address but you are not the executor, you should forward the mail to their address. this is because they are legally authorized to open, read and stop mail on behalf of the deceased person.

send a court order to the post office

The first step is to notify the post office of the death. Once the estate has completed probate and is officially closed, you can mail or hand deliver a copy of the probate order to the deceased person’s local post office.

the court order establishes that the estate is closed and dismisses him from his role and duties as executor. therefore, you should no longer have any business that requires you to open and read the deceased person’s mail.

Along with the copy of the probate order, you must include a letter requesting that any and all mail services stop immediately. Unfortunately, there’s no way to make exceptions for certain types of mail, so you’ll have to wait until you’re ready to stop mail delivery altogether.

register the deceased person in the list of deceased persons do not contact (ddnc)

In addition to requesting that mail delivery through the postal service be stopped, you can also submit a request to stop receiving mail, phone calls, and email from certain merchants.

The DMA Choice is a non-profit organization that manages the Deceased Persons Do Not Contact (DDNC) list. Now part of the Association of National Advertisers, the DMA manages a membership of direct marketing agencies. By registering through the DMA’s DDNC list, you can reduce unwanted marketing messages from advertisers.

To enroll, enter the deceased person’s contact information at once registered, the deceased person is placed on a national no-contact list. dma members will remove this person from their direct marketing lists.

Note that many marketers do not belong to the DMA, so this step will not necessarily eliminate all marketing efforts. however, you should notice a significant reduction over time.

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forward all mail to a different address

Another option is to forward all of the deceased person’s mail to an address other than your own. For example, perhaps you are the executor of the estate and want to ensure that the surviving spouse of the deceased person receives mail in the future.

While it’s polite to get permission first, you can work with USPS to forward all of the deceased’s mail to a new address.

This is a relatively simple process. Simply apply at your local USPS office by completing a Forwarding Address Change Order. have proof ready that you are authorized to handle mail for the deceased person. It could be a copy of the court order stating that you are the designated executor or administrator of the estate.

Please note that USPS mail forwarding service only lasts for one year. you may need to complete a new resend order or follow the instructions above to stop mail altogether.

cancel subscriptions

There are certain pieces of recurring mail that can be effectively stopped by going straight to the source. Did your loved one subscribe to any newspapers or magazines? a local farm box? perhaps a clothing subscription service?

These are all examples of subscriptions that can be canceled by contacting the company or organization directly. In addition, these subscriptions may have associated charges that must also be canceled immediately, so that the charges do not continue to appear on the deceased person’s credit card or bank account.

use “return to sender”

Last but not least, keep in mind that these systems are not perfect. it may take time for your requests to be processed. Additionally, mail pieces may continue to arrive for a period of time.

An easy trick is to make use of the post office’s “return to sender” function. simply write “deceased, return to sender” on any mail that is addressed to the deceased person. put it in your mailbox (or other outbox), and your mail carrier will pick it up the next business day.

if you know where the mail should be forwarded and you know the address, you can easily forward it. cross out your address, and then print the forwarding address. Lastly, write “forward” on the envelope. put it in your mailbox and the mail carrier will pick it up and process it for forwarding.

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have more questions? check out our full checklist of what to do when someone dies

Receiving spam can be frustrating. If you are grieving the death of a loved one, receiving your mail can be painful. however, don’t forget that it is a federal crime to open and read someone else’s mail. the only exception is if you are the legal representative of that person.

The appointment of an executor and/or a power of attorney is the foolproof method of authorizing someone you trust to handle your mail if you die or become incapacitated. you can do this by setting up your estate plan. trust & amp; will offers affordable and accessible products that make it easy to create a will and/or trust. even better, you can do it all online from the comfort of your own home!

We also provide a lot of education about estate planning, to make the whole process easier for you and your loved ones. for example, stopping mail delivery is just one of many fixes that need to be done after someone dies. we provide a step-by-step process on what to do when someone dies. our goal is to provide processes and guides to make any estate planning and related processes as painless and empowering as possible so you can focus on what’s really important.

in confidence & will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable state-specific estate plan online in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should start, or compare our different estate planning options. get started today!

Are there any questions we haven’t answered? explore more topics in our learning center or chat with a live member support representative.

trust & will is an online service that provides legal forms and information. we are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice.

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