How to Stop Mail for a Deceased Person

AARP has a great check list of things to do when someone dies. I am going to expand on the section about what to do with a deceased person’s mail.

With in days of the person’s death put a stop on the mail with the post office. Piles of mail on the porch will bring unwanted attention to the house if no one is there.

After the funeral, put in a change of address to the Post Office to redirect the mail to the executor of the estate.

To stop junk mail:

Use the deceased persons original address for this step. It will take a while for the junk mail to catch up to the change of address.

Fill out the DMA’s Deceased Do Not Contact Registration form.

acxiom is a huge data broker. Their opt-out page has a box you can check if you are opting-out a deceased person opt-out here. AKA Abacus is another huge data broker. They have a whole page about opting-out from them, but if you only want to opt-out a deceased person call them at (888) 780-3869 with the full name, address and date of death of the deceased, and they will remove the individual from their databases.

None of them will ask you for paperwork of any kind.

It is going to take 3 months for all that to take effect.

In the mean time open all the mail and look for pre-paid envelopes and send it back with note saying that the person is deceased.

Competitive Enterprise Institute

This is what I did. You do not have to be as blunt as I was.

If you have a smartphone you can use the Paperkarma app. You can add the deceased person’s name along with everyone else that receives mail at your address. Or you can make a separate account for the deceased person with both their original address and the new address.

You can also write “Deceased” on the outer envelope of all un-opened junk mail. Then give it back to your postal worker.

Change Of Address Packages

After the estate is settled and is dissolved, and you are no longer receiving important legal mail for the estate, get 2 change of address packages from your post office. One is going to be for the deceased person’s original mailing address and the other is for the address the mail was changed to after they died.

Fill it out like normal but under “New Mailing Address” put Deceased.

Change Of Address form Deceased

DO NOT MAIL THIS IN! You are going to hand it into the local post office branch for each address. When you hand it in, have a copy of the proof that you have Power of Attorney, or are the Executor of the Estate, and a copy of the Death Certificate. This should stop all mail immediately.

I hope this quick guide makes this small part of dealing with the death of a loved one, a little easier to navigate.

4 thoughts on “How to Stop Mail for a Deceased Person

  1. Sorry, but there is no such forward address as deceased. Your idea will not work.
    IF you want to write DECEASED on mail and have it do any good, it must either be first class, or have an endorsement for standard mail such as “return service requested”. If it is written on unendorsed standard mail, the USPS will not accept it as it has no postage on it. Think of unendorsed standard mail as a 1 way plane ticket… it got to it’s destination, but will not return for free. Just toss that mail (or recycle it) yourself.
    The USPS is not allowed to endorse any piece of mail as DECEASED themselves. That must be done by the recipient. Would you want that last valid SS check or an insurance check to be returned to sender by a letter carrier? It’s not their job to decide what you may want or not.


    • It was not my idea to put “deceased” on a COA form. I asked my local post office what to to. They wanted proof that the person was really dead, and that the person turning in the form is in charge of that. They are covering their bases, to make sure everything is on the up and up. I also made it clear that you shouldn’t do that step until after the estate is settled and all you are getting is junk mail.


  2. Found this information useful and wanted to share my experience. After having my deceased father’s mail forwarded to my address I got a lot of junk mail. I wrote “DECEASED RETURN TO SENDER” on a few pieces of mail and put back in the mail, that’s all. Within a short time, I stopped getting his mail. I am enrolled in informed delivery, so I see what is scanned to be delivered to my address daily (envelope mail only). Even though I do see envelope items sent to him in my e-mail notifications, the mail does not make it to my mailbox. Only things like catalogs are now delivered. What happens to the mail, I do not know. Bottom line – “DECEASED RETURN TO SENDER” worked great for me – problem solved.


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