As an after loss consultant, I am used to seeing mail, statements and documents in the name of those who have passed away. In helping clients close, transfer and archive a decedent’s accounts, I see dead people’s mail all day, every day.
However, sometimes I do a double-take when it’s in the name of my loved one. So when I received some mail the other day for my dad who died over 25 years ago, I couldn’t help but feel irritated because my dad was never associated with my current address, so how in the heck did this happen? It also gave me a twinge of sadness because it’s not often that I see his name in black and white because he died so long ago.
So what can you do to stop from getting dead people’s mail?
- If you’re the executor or administrator, set up mail forwarding as soon as the probate process begins. This will help ensure that you receive any bills or important paperwork that’s sent to the deceased. You’ll need some of this paperwork for the probate process, so keep good track of it.
- After probate has ended and/or you’ve been discharged, take a copy of the court order to the post office to have the mail stopped permanently.
- Register their name on the Deceased Do Not Contact Registration list which will remove them from marketing and mailing lists (i.e. junk mail). Click here to fill out the form where you will be prompted to enter the deceased person’s information.
- For magazines, other subscriptions, and mail that is technically not “junk” mail (for example, solicitations from charities to which the deceased person made donations while they were living), contact the organization directly to inform them of their death.
- If you shared the mailing address with the deceased person or if you are the new owner of the deceased person’s home, write “Deceased, Return to Sender” on any mail addressed to the deceased person and leave it in your mailbox for pick up. Remember, if you’re not a legal representative of the deceased person, don’t open their mail!
So, after all of these years, I just removed my dad’s name from the Deceased Do Not Contact list. Hopefully, this will put an end to these random junk mail occurrences and save me from my irritation.
I hope this helps give you a few helpful tips if you’re the one managing a decedent’s affairs. However, if this email struck a chord with you in that you’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to do and wish that someone could tell you exactly what to do throughout this process, that’s where we come in.
We handle the business of death and offload the administrative tasks that come with after loss, so you can focus less on the logistics and more on creating space to grieve peacefully.