My Mother passes away 4 years ago, and as Executor of her Estaste, i had all of her mail forwarded to my address to take care of her posthumous business. She was a (gullible) generousperson and appears to have donated to any number of charities and on a ;arge number of mailings and 4 years later i still get regular mailings adressed to her. I contacted the post office and they told me the only way to stop this mail is to individually contact the sender (due to the volume of charity lists she is on this is impractical). I really dont feel like having to be forcefully reminded of my mother every time i go to the mailbox 4 years later, so im wondering if as her legal executor and authorized to sign legal documents in her name, would I be in any trouble if i went to the US Post Office and forwarded her mail to the Cemetary Address where she is currently interred at to put an end to this madness?
I don’t think that would be a legal address. The post office would probably balk.
It would probably be better to type a letter print it off however many you need. Buy stamps and mail them.
Some of those places will probably not stop. And they might hook on to your name and address.
I would try writing ‘Deceased Return to Sender’ on the unopened envelopes and putting them back in the mail box. I don’t think the PO will actually return bulk mail, but they will first class ‘personalized’ letters. It might at least cut down the flow.
And it’s not even slightly untrue.
How about getting a PO Box, forwarding all her mail to that, and then abandoning it after a few months or a year with no forwarding address? In my area, I can get a PO Box for 3 months for $19.00. Maybe try that.
I don’t think it’s fair to forward all her mail to the cemetery just so they have to go through it every day.
Since this regards legal issues, let’s move it to IMHO.
General Questions Moderator
All I can say is that we are still getting mail addressed to my father who died in 1994.
The post office will only forward standard/bulk-rate “marketing mail” (i.e., most charity mailings) if the charity specifically agrees to pay additional fees, usually by endorsing the mail “Forwarding service requested” (although there are a couple of other possibilities such as “Change Service Requested” or “Address Service Requested,” which involve varying combinations of the USPS forwarding the mail and/or providing an electronic notice of the forwarding address to the sender). Many charities don’t want to pay the extra fees, so a forwarding order won’t even work in those cases.
If the charity neither pays for forwarding/address correction nor pays for return (“Return Service Requested”), the USPS just sends the junk mail to the recycler, and the charity will have no way of knowing what happened to it. Once the forwarding order expires in twelve months, you’ll start receiving mail addressed to her again.
Also note that even first-class mail addressed to “Mom or current resident” will not be forwarded as long as there is a current resident (you) to receive it.
In her last year, my mother starting sending small amounts of money to lots of charities. The amount of mail she started getting was astounding. I had her save all of it and I would regularly go through it. I made copies of a note that said she had dementia and to please take her off the mailing list. If the mail included a postage paid return envelope, I sent it back with the note. I probably sent 30-40 back. Just those seemed to make a difference. I think a lot of charities share the same mailing lists. The mail started slowing down pretty soon until there were only one or two a week.
this reminds me of back in the 80s before they started cracking down on it my mom received a piece of mail where it said she won a prize and all she had to do was call 1 900 big scam to claim it … so mom not being the sharpest knife in the dwarer calls it … and come to find out its some lets make a deal type of scam where you kept “playing for bigger prizes” until you busted and won some worthless coupon book as boobie prize …at like 13.50 a call
She tried 4 times to win something before i came home and found out about it …what made it even worse was the 10 pounds of junk mail advertising other 900 number scams she received daily for the next 3 months …and years after shed still get a few every week even after it was made illegal …but those were from psychic hotlines and such drivel …it only stopped when we moved and she changed her last name after her 2nd divorce …I did hear tho that the people who rented the house after us complained about it …even 4 years after the fact
I had something similar with my wife’s ex husband. His name somehow followed my wife to my house when she moved in with me almost 2 years after their divorce. Mostly credit card applications.
Illegal or not I would open up the mail and if there was an 800 number call that and explain it is my wife’s ex husband, he does not live at this address, and I do not know where he is. Please remove his name from this address. With a postage free return envelope I would write on the paper “This is my wife’s ex husband, he does not live here, please remove this address from your list”.
Even though you say it is impractical to do this you may need to contact them. Otherwise, do nothing and after a few years of no response they should stop. Just “86” the mail with her name on it. After 4 years and the estate being settled there should be nothing related to her you need to worry about that would come in the mail. Okay, maybe a card from a classmate or something that they didn’t realize she had passed away. That piece of mail would stick out like a sore thumb.
For months after my Other Shoe died, I kept a fat Sharpie by my door. Mail addressed to him was immediately, automatically, mechanically put back in the mailbox, flag up, with DECEASED DO NOT CONTACT AGAIN scrawled quite bigly across it.
Eventually, I moved, and forgot to replace the Sharpie. New address helped a bit, too. Just make it a robotic gesture (to shield yourself from the little emotional stab) and the incoming mail will taper off.
Presumably, though, all of these senders did opt for that, given that the reason the OP is getting it is because he filed a change of address for his mother to his address.
Simply cancel the forwarding order. Assuming you did your executor job properly and the estate is closed, there’s no more real mail coming for her that you need to care about.
If you’re saying that you’re getting mail addressed to her name at your address, well that’s a strictly insoluble problem though I have some suggestions to taper off the flow.
This first suggestion won’t help the OP’s situation, but will help anyone else or the next time the OP has to deal with a death in the family.
When my Mom died & I was executor I knew enough to get a PO box just for her estate. Which the estate paid for. Then I had USPS forward her mail from her living address to that dedicated PO box. So her name and my real address never connected in any marketer’s database.
At first I wrote “Deceased” on each piece of unwelcome mail at her box, circled the return address & gave it back to USPS to return. After a few months that slowed the flow some. Once the estate closed, I cancelled all USPS forwarding orders & closed the PO box. What happened after that to mail directed at that box is not my concern.
The next step, and the only one our OP can try now, is to visit this website: (Welcome from TheDMA.org | About the ANA | ANA). That’s the trade group for “direct marketers” = junk mailers. They have a feature where you can sign up to opt out receiving junk mail.
it isn’t perfect, and it takes a few months before the flow really dwindles but you can eliminate 90% of what you (or she) is getting by signing yourself (or herself) up for their services.
The prior-prior owner of my current residence apparently contributed to every Catholic charity on Earth. When I bought, 10 years after they sold, mail was still arriving in my box addressed to their name. I signed them up on that website at my address and within a few months the flood of 3-5 items per day was down to 1 per 6 months. It works.
Not necessarily. If ONE of the charities paid to receive the correct address, that one charity might have updated their list and then happily resold the list to others, now containing the fact that mom “lives” at jonpluc’s address. Depending on the exact list of which charities she’s receiving mail from, and which of them update and purge their lists by what methods and on what kind of schedule, her name and OP’s address together can circulate for many years, certainly long after a forwarding order expires. In fact, it’s quite possible she is now receiving mail for charities who’d never sent her anything during her lifetime or to her old address, because of the way lists are traded back and forth. (My mother-in-law died in 2001 and her estate was closed in '03; the flow has long since diminished to a trickle, but she still sometimes receives junk mail, only now it comes to the post office box her widower’s estate didn’t even open until more than 15 years later, and to which no forwarding order for her ever applied. Her name is linked somewhere to his, and his name is now linked to the new PO box, so somebody’s slicing and dicing has linked her name to it.)
The most extreme example I ever saw was a piece of business marketing mail addressed to the person at my employer who’d been in charge of the relevant department 40 years earlier. (He’d retired in the mid-1950s and died shortly thereafter; he got mail sometime around 1997 or '98. That was an outdated list.)
This really does work. I did it for myself once, when my Mom signed me up for a magazine subscription that put me on lots of mailing lists for religious materials that I found offensive. It felt weird, but the results were worth it.
Could be worse.
I continue to get mail from my deceased father. It’s mostly programs in what I gather are Fortran and Cobol. I know because I’ve had some coder friends look at it. All I can really understand are the REM lines. There’s plenty there about how he loved his children and much ranting about our mother. Dad always did have a temper.