Receiving post for the person who has died can be very difficult. Depending on the type of mail, there are a variety of practical measures you can take to deal with the problem.

There is another very important reason why it is good to deal with mail as it helps to prevent identify theft. 

If the property they lived in will be empty while the estate is dealt with or it was rented and must be cleared and returned to the landlord, the first step is to redirect mail to the person dealing with the practicalities. The Royal Mail has a form specifically for this purpose which you can download here.

Even if someone is still living in the property, if they are not the person who is dealing with the practical issues after the death, you may still want to use this service to reduce the burden on them if they are in agreement.

However, a great deal of what comes through letterboxes is direct mail (commonly called junk mail), i.e. advertising from companies that the person who died has never had contact with. The following two services are designed to deal with this direct mail and will not affect important correspondence from banks and other organisations.

The Bereavement Register is a service that was created specifically to deal with this problem, considerably reducing the amount that arrives. The service is provided by the REaD Group and is funded by the companies who sent out the advertising information. It is completely free to use for bereaved people.

It usually takes about 4-6 weeks for you to see a result from using this service as massed mailings are prepared well in advance. The companies who pay for the service benefit by not wasting resources and experiencing the reputational damage resulting from sending post to people who have died

A similar service is provided by the Deceased Preference Service. This is also a free service for bereaved people so you may choose to use both.

Informing government organisations and financial institutions of the death are dealt with elsewhere on this site.

Organisations of which the person who died was a member will need to be informed individually of the death. If you are doing this by post, you may want to create a brief letter with the essential information of their name and address with a space for a membership number or other key information. You can then print this off as many times as you need it and just add in the specific information for that organisation and your signature by hand.

Unfortunately there is no service that stops all mail because not all companies use The Bereavement Register or the Deceased Preference Service. Some of these are based overseas and some charities cannot afford the subscription. There is very little one can do about companies overseas but a phone call to UK charities, or putting the post back in the mail box marked ‘return to sender, recipient has died’ should help.

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Along with making a will, making a list of details of memberships, insurance policies, utility providers and other matters that will need to be informed after your death can make life so much easier for our loved ones after our death. Everyone should do one!  Don't forget to KEEP IT UP TO DATE!