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Old 05-02-2016, 10:54 PM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is online now
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Indonesia and Hawaii
Posts: 4,331
Legally required to do anything with dead person's passport, etc?

My mother died three years ago and I was the executor of her estate. Everything has long since been settled, but I had a small suitcase full of papers I was afraid to trash. Now that we are moving and it's 100% clear that there will be no further issues, I'm getting rid of things. But it feels a little weird. I have just destroyed, by cutting into pieces, a passport, two social security cards, a lot of credit cards for accounts that were long since closed, health insurance cards, a Medicare card, etc.

I assume that was fine (and anyway it is too late now), but are there any laws or guidelines about such matters?
Old 05-02-2016, 11:35 PM is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 13,772
For my mothers estate, I scanned those documents and saved digital copies of them. If they are ever needed again, the info is available, and I expect the original forms could be re-obtained from the appropriat government body -- if they are ever needed again.
Then I destroyed the paper forms.
Old 05-03-2016, 01:41 AM
PastTense PastTense is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6,189
For passport:
Old 05-03-2016, 07:45 AM
chappachula chappachula is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 5,296
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
Just a heads-up: the link in the above post is not to an official government's a private company.
(I have no idea if that affects the accuracy of the information.)

Last edited by chappachula; 05-03-2016 at 07:46 AM.
Old 05-03-2016, 01:12 PM
spifflog spifflog is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,082
From the U. S. State Department:

To Cancel the Passport of a Deceased Relative

The Department of State recommends that a family member or executor of a deceased passport bearer return the passport for cancelation. The passport will be returned after it is canceled. Please submit the valid passport, a certified copy of the death certificate, and a letter requesting the cancelation and return (or destruction) of the passport to:

U.S. Department of State
Consular Lost and Stolen Passport Unit (CLASP)
44132 Mercure Circle
P.O. Box 1227
Sterling, VA 20166-1227


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