If my parents are now both deceased, what are my rights to the contents of theirsafety deposit box?

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If my parents are now both deceased, what are my rights to the contents of theirsafety deposit box?

The safe deposit rental bill has not been paid. Can I still get into the safe deposit box? I am the only child. What do I do?

Asked on November 26, 2010 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Was there a Probate of their estate?  The safety deposit box is part of their estate and you will most likely need to show that you have the right to have the box opened and have the contents.  The contents will be "inventoried" by the bank personnel who are there with you upon opening as the contents have to be accounted for both by the bank and the estate.  If there was not much of an estate then your State will have a Small Estate proceeding which should allow you to get this done quickly.  It may also have the ability to give you "temporary Letters" in order to get things together, such as opening the box.  You should either seek help from an attorney in your area and/or go and speak with the clerks in the probate office to obtain the paperwork to file for the Letters Testamentary.  Good luck.


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