Serving Clients Throughout Wisconsin

How to Stop Mail Addressed to a Deceased Person?

How to Stop Mail Addressed to a Deceased Person?

Even though we have moved into the electronic age, we still receive a significant amount of paper mail. For some, the amount of paper mail may be higher, especially for those who never embraced email or the internet as a means of communication.

Therefore, one of your first steps as an executor for the probate estate is to contact the post office and submit a change of address form. You need to ensure that all of the deceased’s mail is coming to your address so that you can review bills, statements, etc. and take the appropriate measures according to the decedent’s Will or state law.

Unfortunately, along with the important pieces of mail that you receive, you will also receive junk mail, catalogs, magazines, and other items. At some point, you will want to stop mail from being delivered. Bills and statements typically end once the account is settled; however, junk mail will continue until you take steps to stop it.

Tips for Stopping Mail Once the Estate is Settled

If you are the executor, once the probate estate has been closed, take a copy of your appointment papers and the order closing the estate and dismissing you as the executor to the post office and request that all mail delivery to the decedent cease.

Direct mail can be tricky to stop. Marketing and mailing lists are routinely sold thousands of times to thousands of companies. It is impossible to notify each of these companies individually. You can register with a couple of online organizations that will stop most, if not all, of the junk mail to a deceased person. Register with the Deceased Do Not Contact List and DMAChoice. It may take a few months for the junk mail to cease.

Stopping Magazine and Subscription Mail

In order to stop magazine and other subscriptions, you must contact the company or organization directly to stop delivery. Send a copy of the order closing the probate estate and request that the company cease delivery and close the account permanently.

For random pieces of mail, write, “Deceased, Return to Sender” on the envelope and put it back in the mailbox. This works for most other types of junk mail that you may receive.
Pre-approved credit offers are another type of junk mail that continues to arrive long after a person passes away. To stop this type of mail, you need to stop consumer credit reporting agencies from providing information to companies who send pre-approved offers. You can do this by visiting OptOutPrescreen and registering the decedent’s information.

Email is another type of “mail” that we must deal with these days. Of course, you can simply close the email account; however, if that account is shared with another person, this could be an issue. If you want to leave the email account open, register the account with the Direct Marketing Association to opt out of email communications from its members. Note, this may or may not stop all communications to this email address from direct marketing companies.

One last note with regard to mail addressed to a deceased person. It is a federal offense to open and read someone else’s mail. If you receive mail addressed to another person and you are not a legal representative of that person, do not open their mail. Return the mail to the sender, unopened.

For more information, we invite you to request a probate consultation with one of the attorneys at Estate Law Partners, LLC. The experience and knowledge of our Madison area attorneys can help you find peace of mind through this difficult time.



Quality Counsel

Experience You Can Count On

What Sets Us Apart?

Our Philosophy
  • Cutting Edge
  • Authentic
  • Respect
  • Empathy
    She was very responsive and always made sure to answer any questions we had.

    “Our experience with Danielle was very professional and efficient even with having to do everything through zoom due to Covid. She was very responsive and always made sure to answer any questions we ha ...”

    - Shannon
    [Matt] was very engaging and rephrased any questions we didn't udnerstand.

    “Matt was able to answer my questions without all the legal mumbo jumbo. He was very engaging and rephrased any questions we didn't udnerstand. Due to COVID pandemic, we were limited to a phone ...”

    - Steven
    [Matt] was very helpful...

    “He was very helpful in answering our questions and providing guidance that we understood.”

    - Troy
    He took the time to understand our goals and our family situation. He was friendly, thorough, and very knowledgeable.

    “What a great attorney! He explained everything to us in plain English, with no legal jargon. He took the time to understand our goals and our family situation. He was friendly, thorough, and very ...”

    - Mark
    He was wonderful...they asked all the right questions, were patient with our back and forth, and everything was wrapped up successfully.

    “My husband and I needed a will and turned to this firm for their help after the firm had invited us to a "what is estate planning all" about dinner/meeting. Having a will was something we knew we ...”

    - Kris
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your address.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter your zip code.
    This isn't a valid zip cide.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.