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To shred or not to shred ... Deceased person's mail

(19 Posts)
DanceWithThePoets Tue 23-Feb-16 19:54:00

My Mother died last year ...
Now ready to get stuck in and clear the house.

All bills/accounts are paid - and that bit's fine - so there's no nasty mail coming now ... But catalogue crap: JD Williams, John Lewis, Cotswold Co, Lakeland, Scott's of Stow, Chumms (ffs) etc. - no debt to them, but the stuff keeps coming ... Mini rainforest every week!

I've phoned most of them at least once - explained / even fibbed that the property is about to be sold. That's not quite true - but is the plan.

It's not even that it's distressing ... It's just: what do you do to make them believe she's dead and isn't on need of a remote control companion or a thing to open jars?!

My quandry is: Mum shredded everything with her address on on it (I now know why it took her so long to answer the phone sometimes - "attending to the post"!). Seriously, there's three shredders in that house!

Worth mentioning maybe: Mum was British born and had a lovely, but not uncommon British name. My late Father was Eastern European (although naturalised British in the '50s). My maiden surname is even exceptionally rare in my Dad's country of origin.

I have just come home with 6 heavy duty shopping bags of stuff that Mum would've meticulously looked through, tore out pages with her name / address ... AIBU to think it should all go straight into the paper recyling bin?

topcat2014 Tue 23-Feb-16 19:57:37

Just put it in the recycling - and then it's gone - job done.
There is very little that anyone could do with the address of a deceased person. Even if, for example, they did manage some kind of scam there could be no comeback on anyone still living.

The only loser would be the person scammed - which would tend to be a bank - and not really your problem.

No need to make your life any more difficult than it possibly is right now.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Feb-16 19:59:22

I would take it all to the paper bank. Probably the one at the local tip though not one in a shopping centre car park etc.

ImperialBlether Tue 23-Feb-16 20:04:48

Does your workplace send documents off for shredding? Ours used to have a place we could leave things to be sent off to the industrial shredders.

jackstini Tue 23-Feb-16 20:09:53

Put back in the postbox with 'addressee deceased' on it
They will stop sending

MatildaTheCat Tue 23-Feb-16 20:10:29

Straight in the recycling IMO.

Could it be worth getting some stickers made with "recipient deceased, return to sender' and putting back in the post? Might stop the flow a little. I'm always amazed how it can possible be cost effective to send out so many brochures ( yes, I mean you, Boden) when the person almost never makes a purchase. confused

jackstini Tue 23-Feb-16 20:12:00

Put back in the postbox with 'addressee deceased' on it
They will stop sending

Redglitter Tue 23-Feb-16 20:16:53

If you just shred it they'll keep sending it. From experience sending it back marked as deceased is the only thing that works

NewLife4Me Tue 23-Feb-16 20:18:44

I sent all male back marked deceased and eventually it stopped.
had to do this more with mums mail than dads.

That's because my Dad would open junk mail, rip it up and put the contents in a free paid envelope to a different company grin
Sometimes, he wouldn't bother to rip it up.
He hated junk mail and had lots of time on his hands, much like your dm had probably.

I used to feel guilty at first, sorting their things and doing it differently, but we have far less time than they had.

Sorry for your loss. thanks

NewLife4Me Tue 23-Feb-16 20:19:13

mail, not men ffs. grin

iyamehooru Tue 23-Feb-16 20:19:20

I'm not sure if I could be bothered to shred, could you have a bonfire?

Any other stuff when it arrives, return to sender marking "deceased on and the date"

GloGirl Tue 23-Feb-16 20:21:20

I kept returning post irregularly as "Return to sender, not known at this address" but about 3 companies kept doing it. Due to circumstances I wasn't able to return the letters but just piled them all up. One day I went through them all and didn't remove any duplicate letters and returned them ALL. I think getting 10 bits of post back at the same time made my point as now all but one of them have stopped.

NameAgeLocation Tue 23-Feb-16 20:22:44

Definitely sending them back is the only way to do it.

megletthesecond Tue 23-Feb-16 20:31:08

Send back with a note saying addressee deceased. They'll keep sending it if you don't.


BlackandGold Tue 23-Feb-16 20:32:55

I even send back stuff like this that I don't want - mark it unwanted mail. Return to sender.

Works a treat!

0christmastree5 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:34:45

Return to sender......

thebiscuitindustry Tue 23-Feb-16 21:00:10

There are free services called The Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service which can help stop unwanted mail to a deceased person.

Also the Post Office will redirect the mail of a deceased person, for a fee:
Redirecting post after someone's death
Post Office form here

DanceWithThePoets Tue 23-Feb-16 21:19:57

I'm so overwhelmed at the responses ... Things I would normally call up my Mum and say: "utter nonsense at school gate today/ similar" ...

We're in Scotland. When we resister the Death - it's called "One Stop Shop". It's aim is to 'put it on radar' that person is deceased - remove from your database ...

I'm just about greetin' at the enormity of it all ....

ZebraOwl Tue 23-Feb-16 21:51:54

It's ok to cry, Dance - actually, it's probably a very good idea to. Because it is all terribly overwhelming & those times where you want to be able to just talk to your mother as you usually would, the reflexive "oh I must tell her..." - those are really bloody awful, frankly. They're a bit like being smacked in the face with a fresh wave of grief.

My mummy died (very suddenly) when I was ten (& a half, it matters terribly at that age...) so I was spared the sort of practical stuff you're having to do. Well actually, we never got rid of her things, but that's a whole other matter. The amount of times I was reduced to tears by coldcallers wanting to speak to Mrs Owl though... It took a while to get all the letters etc to stop here as well (I'm looking at you, Next, you utter arses) & we'd far fewer to be dealing with.

Sorry, I've not really any practical advice (bar agreeing about the sending it back clearly marked as "addressee deceased" - write/print yourself a squillion labels in one go so you can just mindlessly bung them on without having to engage with That Thought) I just wanted to say that I'm so very sorry & it does get Less Awful with time.

And now I'll go & be awkward somewhere else. Yes.

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