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How Do I Access Someone's Safety Deposit Box After They Die?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton discusses access to safety deposit boxes and how you can ensure that your Trustee or Personal Representative has access to your safety deposit box after you die.

Transcript of Video: How Do I Access Someone’s Safety Deposit Box After They Die?

Today's question how do I access the

safety deposit box of someone after

they've died so I get this question a

lot and I answer questions on

various online forums and this just came

across my desk the other day the

parent had died and the child was trying

to gain access to the safety deposit

box but they weren't sure their name was

on the access form to the box but they

needed the Will because they were named

as personal representative (the Executor) of

the Estate in the Will but they needed

to find the original

Will in order to open the probate so it

becomes a chicken-and-egg problem if you

have a safety deposit box and you name

your child or a friend as the Personal

Representative I recommend giving them

access to the box at the bank

meaning you fill out the form saying

they can access the box now or or making

it effective that they can access it

after your death if you don't give them

access to the box they may have to go to

court just to get an order to open the

box to look for the Will so you want to

avoid that and if you have a safe at home

you can keep the Will there and tell

your Personal Representative how to

access it but if you want to use a

safety deposit box make sure the person

name is the Representative in your will

or the Trustee in your Trust has access

to the box so after your death they can

go get the Will to file with

the court or the Trust document to

follow what it says so the key takeaway

with the safety deposit box is it's

great for keeping your Will safe from

fire but make sure that if you're gone

someone has access so they can get you

important documents and follow your

wishes Great question and thanks for


© 2018 Law Office of Thomas B. Burton. All Rights Reserved.

Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired.

For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact my office.

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