Can I access my grandmother’s safety deposit box now that she’sdied?

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Can I access my grandmother’s safety deposit box now that she’sdied?

Will I be able to access the contents of my grandmother’s safety deposit box? She recently died and kept this a secret from me so it is not listed in the Will when I had it drafted. I realize that the POA is now void and they will freeze her checking account, but will this prohibit me from viewing or obtaining the contents of my inheritance in this deposit box?

Asked on March 26, 2011 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  And for the situation.  You are correct about the POA and the bank accounts. But the general reasoning remains true for safety deposit boxes as well.  Unfortunately once a person dies the bank will only let the Executor of the Estate view the contents of the safety deposit box.  The executor will clear out the box with an official who will record the contents for many reasons: to list assets, keep an accounting, etc.  The contents of the safety deposit box should be known to you as a beneficiary of the estate as the executor of the will should be listing the contents in the accounting.  Ask about them.  Good luck.


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