I'm to be a beneficiary on a will for my father and I was asked for my address. The address I provided is in an apartment complex. Maybe I'll be in that same apartment complex when my father passes or maybe I won't be but given the uncertainty as to where I'll be I'm wondering if it might not bad idea to have a PO Box that I can keep between moves.

Can I even do that? Or can I pencil in my email address instead of my home address?

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    I'm not sure that a PO box is always accepted as identity. But your actual residence history is traceable. Are you saying you won't be aware that your father has passed? Commented Dec 4, 2023 at 23:57
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    @WeatherVane USPS requires proof of identity and address to open a PO Box. It's likely more traceable than renting a house, I don't think I've ever been asked for photo ID to rent.
    – user71659
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 0:23
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    Practically everyone is uncertain about their future address, people move all the time during their lives. Do you think they all get PO boxes for this reason?
    – Barmar
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 16:06
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    A consideration with email addresses is whether you'll still have the same one. I lost an ISP-provided email address with no notice when they proved unable to connect my new house. Since then I've got my own domain; registration and hosting aren't expensive but if I had no money at all I'd lose those. Even something like gmail or hotmail could still be lost, to identity theft for example.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 21:13
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    THere's nothing wrong with ading more contact information - noone would bat an eye at email, cellphone, residential address. Adding any gamer handle or @youtube or instagram or Stackexhange username might be a bit odd, but consider someone will be trying to find you in the future. Best make that task as easy as possible for them.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


The address given is assumed to be the one you had at the time.

Even if that is not your current address upon your father's death, it still serves an important purpose: It allows you to be distinguished from other people with the same name or a similar name who did not live at that address at that point in time.

At death, someone will probably rely upon your father's address book or phone contacts to reach you (or maybe your most recent Christmas card), not the one listed in a will or a deed that is many years old.

There is no need for a P.O. Box.

Or can I pencil in my email address instead of my home address?

Don't do it. This could come across as fraudulent conduct.

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    I agree with your last statement. I don't see a problem with keeping a separate piece of paper along with the will listing current contact info.
    – user71659
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 0:21
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    Why would providing a correct and valid email address come across as fraudulent? Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 2:04
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    @EndAnti-SemiticHate Because it is writing on a written instrument by a person who didn't sign it.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 2:27
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    It's a bit unclear, but the OP may simply be using "pencil it in" as colloquial for providing their email address as opposed to a mailing address. They may not be using that phrase literally. Or they may... hard to tell. Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 4:45
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    @EndAnti-SemiticHate - I meant to say "can I [have my Dad] pencil in my email address". ie. scratch out what it says and replace the verbiage with whatever he pleases. That said, I suppose it's a moot point, now, as I got the answer I sought.
    – neubert
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 5:16

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