4 Steps To Stop Mail Addressed To A Deceased Person

How can you stop the not so important mail from being sent to a deceased person? You may be the newly appointed executor of a deceased person’s probate estate or successor trustee of a trust. Or, you may have purchased a home from a deceased person’s estate or trust and receive some of their mail at your new address.

What can you do to stop the post office from delivering mail addressed to a deceased person?

Here are four steps you can take:

1. Court Order To Post Office

If you are the executor of an estate that has been through probate court and the estate is officially closed, hand-deliver or send a copy of the probate order closing the estate and dismissing you as the executor to the deceased person’s local post office, and request that all mail service be stopped immediately. The only way to completely stop delivery is to request that all mail service be discontinued.

2. Do Not Contact Registration

To stop mail received as the result of commercial marketing lists (in other words, junk mail), log on to the Deceased Do Not Contact Registration page (https://www.ims-dm.com/cgi/ddnc.php) of the DMAchoice.org website. You will be prompted to enter the deceased person’s information. According to the website, “DMAchoice™ is an online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail. This site is part of a larger program designed to respond to consumers’ concerns over the amount of mail they receive. It is the evolution of the DMA’s Mail Preference Service created in 1971.” After registering the deceased person on the website, the organization claims that the amount of mail received as the result of commercial marketing lists should decrease within three months.

3. Contact Organization Directly

For magazines and 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. Inform them of the death. Note that most publishers will issue a refund for any unused subscription.

4. Return To Sender

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 it is a federal offense to open and read someone else’s mail. If you’re not a legal representative of the deceased person, don’t open their mail!

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