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What Happens to Your Mail After You Die?

Unless the Post Office is informed of a person’s death, mail will continue to be delivered to the decedent’s address. If you are the Personal Representative (or Executor), it will be necessary to continue receiving mail until all financial or business matters have been settled. However, a time will come when you will want to stop mail altogether. This post will explain the necessary steps you will need to take to halt a decedent’s mail.


1. Notify the Post Office of the Death. After an estate has been settled and closed, send (or hand-deliver) the probate notice to the decedent’s local post office. This notice states that the estate has been closed and that your duties as Personal Representative have come to an end. Also, be sure to include a letter stating that all mail to the decedent be stopped.


2. Register the Deceased on the Deceased Do Not Contact List. While this step will not eliminate all marketing materials, it can greatly reduce the amount of unwanted mail sent to the decedent. To register, you must enter the decedent’s contact information on the DMA Choice website:


3. Cancel All Subscriptions. If the decedent subscribed to any publications or clothing or meal prep companies, you should cancel these immediately. You can do this by contacting the company directly. Also, be sure to terminate any recurring credit card charges.


Another temporary option is Mail Forwarding. This might make sense if you are a Personal Representative and believe it’s important to continue receiving mail for a certain amount of time. This can be done by filing a change of address order at a local USPS office. You will need to provide proof that you are authorized to file this request—a copy of the court order naming you the Personal Representative or Executor of the estate. Keep in mind that a mail forwarding request is typically good for one year only.


For a free, confidential conversation to discuss estates, including the rights and obligations of a Personal Representative, contact Maryland estate attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959,


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