Q: If I have questions or a special request concerning my account, what’s the best way to reach you?
A: Our contact information appears at the bottom of each page on our website. There is also a Live Chat/Leave a Message window that is open most of the time. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org is generally the best way to reach us. If you prefer, our phone number is 910.939.0090. If we cannot take your call immediately, we will not keep you on hold, but will ask you to leave a voice message. If you need a call back from us, include in your message the best time for us to call you.
Q: I want to prepare some Hereafter Mail but I’m confined and cannot get out to buy writing paper or Forever stamps. Can you provide them for me?
A: Yes. When you sign up for your account, you can order our Writer’s Pack which includes 12 note cards, envelopes, and Forever stamps.
Preparing Your HereafterMail:
Q: What are the dimensions of the Mail Pack?
A: The Mail Pack is 10.5 x 13 inches and expandable to 1.5 inches thick. It is soft sided so it will flex. The Mail Pack will easily hold dozens of envelopes, and it can flex to hold small parcels.
Q: Are there restrictions on what I can include in my Mail Pack?
A: Yes. You may only include items that can be mailed First Class using U.S. Postal Service Forever stamps. One Forever stamp is needed for each item weighing up to one ounce. You will need to affix another Forever stamp for each additional ounce. Obviously, you must comply with all laws and U.S. Postal Service regulations; i.e. you cannot send any dangerous or illegal materials in your mail.
Q: Do I have to use Forever stamps?
A: Yes. This ensures that there are no problems having your mail delivered if there are postage rate increases between the time you prepare the envelopes and when we eventually mail them for you.
Q: Can I use Hereafter Mail if I am outside the U.S?
A: If you are outside the U.S, you can only use Hereafter Mail if all of the mail you include in your package will be sent to U.S. addresses and contains U.S. Forever stamps.
Q: Can I include mail to be sent to addresses outside the U.S?
A: No. We can only accept mail addressed to U.S. destinations.
Q: Can I send CD’s or DVD’s? Audio cassettes? Thumb drives? Memory cards?
A: Yes. Just be sure to use the appropriate type of mailer for each item and affix the correct amount of postage; i.e. one Forever stamp for each ounce of weight.
Q: Do I have to use the Mail Pack or can I use my own parcel?
A: If you have stuffed the Mail Pack so full that you are afraid it will break open, you may wish to put it in a box for shipping to us. Under no circumstances can your parcel contain any single piece of mail that is so large it would not fit inside the standard Mail Pack.
Q: I love the idea of being able to have things like birthday wishes and Christmas cards sent at specified dates in the future. Is there a limit to how far in the future I can plan these mailings?
A: We will accept items to be delivered up to 10 years from the date we receive them.
Q: Can I enclose money in my Hereafter Mail?
A: Yes, but we strongly discourage enclosing it in the form of cash. There are a couple of reasons that some of our clients want to send money in their Hereafter Mail. One is that they wish to be discrete about giving certain people money and therefore prefer to do it this way rather than including it in their will. The other is that they want to enclose money in Christmas, birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc. cards that are designated for delivery on the appropriate dates; sometimes well into the future. Checks are problematic since your bank accounts will typically be closed during the probate process. U.S. Postal Service money orders are inexpensive, easy to purchase, and never expire. We recommend them as the best and safest means of enclosing monetary gifts in your mail.
Q: How do I communicate the dates on which I want the items in my mail package delivered?
A: Your Client Kit contains simple instructions for specifying delivery dates for each piece of mail. Any item not marked with a delivery date will be sent within one week after verification of your death.
Q: Some of my mail is very personal and contains sensitive information that would cause me extreme embarrassment if it were to be delivered prior to my death. How can I be sure there will be no premature delivery?
A: Our business is based on our clients having absolute confidence that 1) mail is NEVER sent prior to the requested time; and 2) that the mail WILL be sent when requested. All mail is kept in a secure location at all times. We have multiple safeguards and cross checks in place to make certain every piece of mail is delivered when the client intended, and never before then.
Q: What happens if my spouse, lawyer, or other family member asks you to turn over my mail to them, either before or after my death?
A: We will not release your mail to anyone without your written consent. If you have any special instructions regarding this, they must be included with your Client Information Form. The only exception to this policy is if an authorized government agency presents a valid search warrant or subpoena for your materials.
Q: I don’t want anyone to know that my Hereafter Mail account exists. Can it be kept completely confidential?
A: This is a common concern and it is the primary reason that we don’t initiate contact with our clients after their account is opened, unless the client has expressly authorized it. It’s also one reason that we do not charge for periodic subscription renewals. It is not a bad idea to check our web site occasionally and look at the Client Alerts page in the Client Support section of our website. If there is something we want to communicate to our group of current clients, including those who did not authorize us to contact them, that’s where it will be posted.
Q: Is my mail opened and/or read by Hereafter Mail staff?
Q: Do you sell your client list or share client information with other companies?
A: Absolutely not.
Client’s Death and Mail Delivery:
Q: How are you informed when a client passes away?
A: As part of the new account package, the client receives a Notification Letter with an envelope addressed to Hereafter Mail. The letter and envelope should be attached to the client’s will or included with their “in the event of my death” papers so it can be mailed to us at the appropriate time. The instructions with the letter request the inclusion of a copy of the death certificate if available. We always require a minimum of two independent sources of death verification before releasing a client’s mail.
Q: What if the Notification Letter is not sent in after my death? Does this mean my mail will never be delivered?
A: No. Sometimes the Notification Letter isn’t sent to us, for any number of reasons. At signup time, the client has the option of allowing us to contact him/her periodically to verify that s/he is still living. A non-response to such a contact would trigger an investigation to determine if the client had passed away. The client can also specify the name of some other person we can periodically contact to verify that the client is still living, or to act as a second contact if we cannot reach the client. Or, the client may wish to help preserve the confidentiality of the existence of his/her Hereafter Mail account by not allowing these verification checks. In any case, we use the information you provide on your Client Information Form to periodically run various checks that help us learn of clients who have passed away. When this happens, a separate verification procedure is used before any of that client’s mail is released. Again, we always require verification from at least two sources.
Q: What happens if any of my mail is undeliverable?
A: We will place a Hereafter Mail return address label on your mail. The way we handle anything returned to us as undeliverable depends on the reason. We make every effort to locate the addressee. If we are unsuccessful, we hold the item indefinitely in case the recipient turns up. If the recipient is deceased, we dispose of the mail without opening it.
Q: Why do you charge a flat rate rather than charging for each piece of mail?
A: Since a sizable portion of our costs are incurred in acquiring and setting up new client accounts, we chose to charge a flat rate so that clients who wish to send a lot of mail would not have to pay excessive fees to do so.
Q: Is there an additional fee to renew my account after a certain period of time?
A: No. Once you set up your account and send us your mail, there are no additional costs unless you decide to make certain changes.
Q: I’m one of those people that set up a Hereafter Mail account several years ago “just in case”. Since then, some of my relationships have changed, recipient addresses have changed, and my kids who I have addressed some of my mail to are older now so I’d like to rewrite the letters to them. How can I do this?
A: Any client who keeps an account with us for an extended time will at some point probably want to refresh it to reflect changes in relationships or messages in the mail. The best way to do this is to either have your existing mail discarded (no charge), or to have it sent back to you (you pay postage and handling). You will then receive a new Mail Pack to fill with your revised mail. There is a $30 charge for this service. (Yes, this is essentially a subscription renewal. The advantage of this approach is that you only pay for it if and when YOU decide you want to refresh your mail.)
Q: Is Hereafter Mail only meant for terminally ill or elderly people who don’t expect to live much longer?
A: Many of our clients fall into these groups but certainly not all of them. Relatively young, healthy people may wish to keep Hereafter Mail accounts just in case anything unexpected happens to them. They may have secrets or confidential information that they cannot disclose while living but want to share after their death. They may want to be sure there is a last message to their surviving spouse or children. We are told that some simply want to be sure that their secret love, admiration, or even hatred for someone doesn’t go to the grave with them. There are also people in certain professions (active duty military, police, firemen, etc.) who live with increased risk and wish to plan accordingly. People who are planning to undergo risky surgery may wish to establish a Hereafter Mail account as a contingency.
Q: I’d like to send some e-mails to be delivered after my death. Do you provide that service?
A: No, but there are some companies that do. Google “e-mail after death”.
Q: What happens to my mail if Hereafter Mail goes out of business or something happens to the owner?
A: Our business is not dependent on any single individual. We have a business continuity plan and trained people who would continue to manage our operations. If, in the unlikely event we went out of business, we have a contingency plan that ensures mail from already deceased clients would be delivered as scheduled. Clients who are still living and have authorized us to contact them or their agent would be notified and have the choice of having their mail returned to them or destroyed. A notice would be posted on our website for those clients who did not authorize us to contact them. Fees would be refunded based on a 2-year proration.