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Complete Guide to Royal Mail Redirection After Bereavement

The passing of a loved one is a deeply emotional and challenging experience. Navigating the practicalities of life after bereavement can feel overwhelming, especially when dealing with the deceased’s mail. Not only can it be upsetting to receive letters addressed to someone no longer with us, but it can also pose a risk of identity theft if not handled properly. Royal Mail understands this sensitive situation and offers a valuable service to support individuals during this difficult time: mail redirection.

This comprehensive guide provides a step-by-step process for redirecting mail after bereavement, ensuring you have the information and support needed to manage this aspect of your life.

Table of Contents

  • Understanding Royal Mail Redirection
  • Step-by-Step Guide to Redirecting Mail
    • Step 1: Gather Necessary Information
    • Step 2: Choose Redirection Type
    • Step 3: Initiate Redirection
    • Step 4: Confirm and Monitor
  • Tips for Managing Mail After Bereavement
  • Common Questions About Mail Redirection
  • Conclusion

Understanding Royal Mail Redirection

Royal Mail redirection is a service that allows you to forward mail from one address to another, making it a valuable tool for managing mail after bereavement. It ensures that mail intended for the deceased individual is sent to your chosen address, preventing unnecessary stress and potential security risks.

Types of Redirection:

Royal Mail offers three main types of redirection:

  • Temporary Redirection: This option allows you to redirect mail for a specific period, usually a few months. It is ideal for situations where you need to temporarily manage mail while making long-term arrangements.
  • Permanent Redirection: If you need to permanently redirect the deceased’s mail to a new address, you can opt for this redirection type. It is commonly used for situations where the deceased individual’s belongings are being moved to a new location.
  • Limited Period Redirection: This option allows you to redirect mail for a set timeframe, such as 6 months or 12 months, with the flexibility to extend it if needed. It provides a balance between temporary and permanent redirection.

Duration and Costs:

The duration of redirection and associated costs vary depending on the chosen type. Royal Mail’s website provides detailed information on costs and duration for each type of redirection.

Step-by-Step Guide to Redirecting Mail

Here is a comprehensive guide to redirecting mail after bereavement, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.

Step 1: Gather Necessary Information

Before initiating redirection, ensure you have the following information:

  • Deceased individual’s full name and address: This is crucial for ensuring accurate redirection.
  • Your own full name and address: This will be the new destination for the redirected mail.
  • Proof of death: A death certificate or other official documentation is required for verification.
  • Account information: If the deceased individual had any subscriptions or services, their account information might be required for redirection.

Step 2: Choose Redirection Type

Carefully consider the type of redirection best suited to your circumstances.

  • Temporary Redirection: If you are making temporary arrangements and need to manage the deceased’s mail for a short period, this is a suitable option.
  • Permanent Redirection: If the deceased’s belongings are being permanently moved, and you need to redirect mail indefinitely, this is the best choice.
  • Limited Period Redirection: This option offers a balance, allowing you to redirect mail for a specified timeframe with the option to extend if necessary.

Step 3: Initiate Redirection

You can initiate redirection using one of the following methods:

  • Online Application: Visit the Royal Mail website and follow the instructions to apply online. This method is convenient and allows you to complete the process at your own pace.
  • Phone Call: Contact Royal Mail customer service to initiate redirection over the phone. This option is suitable for those who prefer phone communication.
  • In-person visit: Visit your local post office to apply in person. This allows for direct interaction with a Royal Mail representative.

Ensure you have all the necessary documentation readily available when applying for redirection.

Step 4: Confirm and Monitor

After submitting your application, confirm the details with Royal Mail to ensure accurate redirection.

  • Once the redirection is active, monitor mail delivery and report any issues encountered to Royal Mail promptly. This helps ensure that the process is working smoothly.

Tips for Managing Mail After Bereavement

Managing mail after a bereavement can be overwhelming. The following tips can help navigate this challenging aspect:

  • Contact Senders: Reach out to senders of regular mail, informing them of the death and request the cessation of further mailings. This can include utility companies, subscription services, and financial institutions. Be prepared to provide proof of death and any relevant account information.
  • Unwanted Mail: If you receive unwanted mail, such as junk mail or marketing materials, contact the senders and request removal from their mailing lists. Most companies have procedures for opting out of mailing lists, often found on their websites or through their customer service channels.
  • Sensitive Documents: If you receive financial statements, bank statements, or other sensitive documents, handle them carefully, ensuring they are secured and stored appropriately. You might consider shredding or securely disposing of any documents that you don’t need to keep.
  • Personal Mail: The deceased person may have received personal letters or cards. You can choose to read these yourself, pass them on to family members, or securely dispose of them.
  • Return to Sender: If you’re unsure what to do with certain mail, you can mark it “Return to Sender” and place it back in your mailbox. Royal Mail will handle the return process.
  • Don’t Feel Pressured: There’s no need to rush through processing mail after a bereavement. Take your time, and prioritize what’s most important for you.

Common Questions About Mail Redirection

This section addresses some frequently asked questions related to mail redirection after bereavement:

  • What if I don’t have proof of death yet?
    • In some cases, Royal Mail might accept alternative documentation, such as a funeral director’s letter or a death notice. Contact Royal Mail to discuss the specific requirements.
  • Can I redirect mail without the deceased’s consent?
    • In most cases, you will need legal authority or proof of authority to redirect mail without the deceased’s consent. This might involve a power of attorney, a court order, or another legal document. Contact legal counsel to clarify the specific requirements.
  • How long does it take for redirection to take effect?
    • The timeframe for redirection to become active depends on the chosen method. Online redirection typically takes 2-3 working days, while phone and in-person applications might take longer.
  • What happens to the deceased’s mail after redirection ends?
    • After the redirection period ends, Royal Mail will usually return the mail to the sender. However, if you’ve specifically requested that mail be destroyed, Royal Mail will do so.
  • Can I redirect mail for multiple deceased individuals?
    • You can redirect mail for multiple deceased individuals. Contact Royal Mail to discuss the process and required documentation. You will need to provide separate applications and proof of death for each individual.


Navigating mail redirection after bereavement can seem daunting, but it is a crucial step in managing the practicalities of this difficult time. This guide provides a comprehensive understanding of Royal Mail’s redirection services and practical tips for navigating this process effectively. By following the steps outlined, you can streamline mail management and minimize stress during this challenging period.

Remember, you are not alone. If you need additional support, reach out to bereavement charities, legal or financial advisors, or other relevant organizations for guidance and assistance.