How to get access to a safe deposit box when both signees are dead

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How to get access to a safe deposit box when both signees are dead

I am executer for my mothers estate. She had a safe
deposit box with another person. The other person
died before my mother. The bank says I cannot get
access without a death certificate for the other
person, which I dont believe I can get under DE law.
Any options?

Asked on January 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Delaware

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If you are the executor of your Mother's estate that gives you the right to the same access she would have had in life, which means access to the box.  I think the bank official was incorrect.  Take your letters testamentary, make a copy and have a lawyer send a letter or ask the Surrogate (Judge in Probate Court) to issue an order allowing access. The issue that the bank has is they do not know whose stuff is whose and do not want to be liable for you taking the other person's things and state law will tell you how that works.  Good luck.


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