Can an individual get a court order to conduct a Will search of a safety deposit box?

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Can an individual get a court order to conduct a Will search of a safety deposit box?

I am the only surviving heir of my mother’s estate. She left me her estate but I believe her Will is in her safety deposit box but she is the only person listed to open the account. The bank says only a lawyer may conduct a “will search” of the box with a court order. i can’t believe that only a lawyer can request such a search?

Asked on August 15, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  And I agree.  I have located on line certain information that leads me to believe that you can apply yourself to the Court to open the safety depositbox in certain of the judicial districts.  So I am inclined to believe that if one district allows you to file such a petition - especially in light of who you are here - then the law is fairly standard through out the state of Missouri. The form is called a Petition to Open and Inventory a Safety Deposit Box and it may in fact require that you file some form ofproceeding here (i.e., pay a court fee) in order to do this.  I will give you the link here and then you should take the form down to the Probate Court in the county in which your Mother resided at the time of her death ad speak with the court clerk.  They can not give you legal advice but they can tell you whether or not the form is valid in that court.  Good luck.


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