What do you to handle a US Post Office Change of Address At Death for a Deceased Person? That is, when a loved one dies how do you change their mailing address? Furthermore, WHY would you want to change their address?
Let’s address the latter question first. If the person that died had only debts then possibly you do not want to put in a change of address!? However, if the person had assets then it is likely you do want to put in a change of address. The main reason is there could be asset information, refunds, and/or tax information that comes in later. For example, do you know if you received all their 1099’s and/or K1’s? What if there is a small refund check where does it get mailed? For these and other reasons I would say in most cases where a person dies with assets there are more advantages to putting in the change of address.
Then the question is HOW?
This is where the problem comes in. The USPS has put security measures in place to help confront fraud and thus you can’t change a person’s address, after they die, without a court order. Besides the fraud you would be committing as you click through the buttons on their website they also require a credit card to be used that is the same zip code as the decedent. So what do you do?
If there is a probate then you simply take the court order and letters to the local USPS and do the change of address manually. The USPS requires these documents which establishes your power over the affairs of the deceased person.
For most people who have a living trust, if it’s properly funded, then probate court is not required. If probate court is not required there will be no need to get a court order and it would be a pretty big cost and effort to get just for the mail forwarding. So, you can be stuck!
BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE TODAY
If you are dealing with a loved one who seems to be dying I would suggest you talk to them about putting in the change of address form, electronically, while they are still alive! That is, you have them do the form… perhaps with your help. Then you aren’t comiting fraud or anything like that but you still have the mail forward in place. Plus, if they are close to death you probably should be helping with their affairs anyway!
There are options: temporary and permanent. You should look through those options and decide what makes the most sense. In my opinion if the person is literally dying then I would opt for the 18 month forward. It’s only $40 and that amount of time should cover anything of importance that comes through to the deceased person.
I wish you my sincere best wishes in the trying times you are probably facing if you are reading this post.