How to Stop the Deceased's Junk Mail

Unsolicited mail after a death can prove annoying and painful

Mailbox stuffed with junk mail
Junk mail addressed to the deceased can prove annoying and even painful. Photo © Scott Tysick/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

After someone we love dies, even the simplest reminder of the deceased can trigger tears and waves of pain when we are grieving. Unfortunately, one such "landmine" people often trip over is the deceased's mail, which will continue to bear his or her name in the weeks and months following the death. This article explains how you can decrease or stop the deceased's junk mail, which can otherwise prove annoying and even painful.

The "Deceased Do Not Contact List"

Following the death of a loved one, immediate family members or next-of-kin face many tasks and responsibilities in order to settle the deceased's estate. One such duty should involve forwarding his or her mail to a new delivery location when the deceased lived alone. Often overlooked or forgotten, unfortunately, is the unsolicited mail or "junk mail" that arrives in the deceased's name, which can trigger waves of sadness.

Fortunately, you as an immediate family member, next-of-kin or executor of the deceased's estate can do something about this. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) maintains a "Deceased Do Not Contact List" (DDNC). Established in October 2005, this service removes the name and address(es), phone number(s) and email address(es) of the deceased from the marketing lists used by member companies and nonprofit organizations.

To add your loved one to the DDNC list, you will need to provide the following information:

• The deceased's primary first and last name, and any variations on such (Bill for William, for example, or nicknames, common misspellings or aliases).

• His or her primary address, as well as any additional mailing addresses, such as a P.O. box, vacation home or business.

• The month/year in which he or she died.

• The age of the deceased at the time of death.

Your first and last name.

Your relationship to the deceased.

Your email address (for confirming, non-promotional purposes only).

There is no cost to add your loved one's name to the DDNC list, and this direct-mail list is updated at least once every three months and distributed to all of the association's members.

According to the DMA website, "The number of commercial contacts from DMA members should begin to decrease within three months." While the association offers its DDNC list to "non-members of DMA so that all marketers may take advantage of this service to eliminate names [of the deceased]," you should not expect the complete elimination of every piece of junk mail sent to your loved one. While members of this association are required to honor this list, companies that do not belong to DMA might continue to send junk mail to your loved one afterward.

To add the name of your loved one to the "Deceased Do Not Contact List," please gather the necessary information listed above and visit the DMA's Deceased Do Not Contact Registration page.

Related Articles You Might Like:
What to do Immediately After a Loved One Dies
What to do After a Loved One Dies: The Following Weeks
How to Create an Advance Healthcare Directive

"Deceased Do Not Contact Registration." Direct Marketing Association. Retrieved September 15, 2015.

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