How to access safe deposit box and bank account for deceased

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to access safe deposit box and bank account for deceased

My father recently passed away and my mother, his ex-wife was named power of attorney. It is my

understanding the divorce nullified her power. He never updated or listed a back up after the divorce. I am his son and named executor of the will, and trying to access his accounts. I am trying to figure

out the quickest and easiest way to access these accounts. Do I need a letter of testimary to probate

the Will or am I able to obtain power of attorney rights and do this?

Asked on May 3, 2018 under Estate Planning, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't obtain a power of attorney from a deceased person, and any existing powers of attorney lapsed or ceased to exist when your father passed away: only living people can have powers of attorney. You need the letters testimentary from the court as executor: they will confirm you authority over his estate, including right to access the safe deposit box.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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