I found a safety deposit key to a box that my whole family thought was emptied. How can we get a look inside?

Follow
Share

After a financial setback years ago, my dad cashed in & emptied his box. He was terrible following up on cancellation situation such as never returning an old cable box and getting billed yearly for it! I found a key to the safety box and realized that he was having $50 deducted yearly for it. I went to the bank to find out if it still have anything in there but he didn't have a will so I couldn't access it. My mom is still alive and we thought that everything goes to her but since he just had his name on it...the bank said no. What can we do? I'm worried about spending money to get into the box and there's nothing but my luck, I'll just close the account & he'll have some bonds in there! I had to quit my job to take care of Mom and my husband has been out of work for awhile & I really want to avoid shelling out money...anyone know what I can do?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
13

Answers

Show:
If your dad was the only signer on the box you may need legal help. That is really sad. Everyone should have a second signer so that if something happens to the owner someone else can get in. It's awful to be billed for a box you're not using, and as you say, there could be something in it. You could try your state law site and see if a pro bono (fee) attorney could check into this for you.
Good luck,
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The bank says no, but you can get someone at the bank to answer the question: "Ok, so help me out here. Here's the situation. What DO I need to do to resolve this?" Get someone at the bank to work with you to find the solution. Their "first line of defense" people are likely to be unhelpful; ask to speak to a manager, and take the tone that you need information, not that you are going to badger them to go against their policies (which are understandable, and probably legally mandated by the contract your dad signed).
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I leased a space that was a bank for a number of years and the space featured a full Class A walk-in vault. I think JessieBelles' answer is the most helpful; You may have to go thru Probate Court to get permission to examine the contents-- and you may not end up having a right to the contents. But if the bank has continued to collect rent it is still an open legal issue in this estate matter.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you have durable POA, then you should be allowed to use that key as if you were him.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Didn't your mother inherit his box directly as his spouse or because of his will? This does not make sense like my first response above. I'm sorry.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi all...dad didn't have a will which is part of my problem & the POA ceases once he passed away. I think I need a letter from a lawyer stating there wasn't any will & it goes to mom but lawyers are money!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm sorry your dad did not have a will. Has the state settled his estate yet?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There wasn't an estate to settle...we owed a mortage on their house & walked away with little. I'm just worried that if I go through all the trouble to get a lawyer...there's going to be nothing in the box!! The whole family agreed that he told everyone that he got rid of both of the boxes he had. We really think he forgot because he has hit hard times and asked me for money when he was desperate. He was a minor collector of stamps & coins. Hobby mostly. Its just my luck he'll have the Hope Diamond in there if I just let it lapse!! LOL!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

how do i find the bank were my father key will work . He has a trust . No bank name
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

In New York state a safety deposit box held at a bank cannot be opened by the wife, a joint-owner, a POA, once one of the co-owner's dies. The deceased's will must be brought to the appropriate county court, whereby the judge scrutinizes the deceased's will, hopefully determines that it is valid, verifies who the beneficiary is, then prepares a document that allows the proper party to present it to the bank in order to be granted permission to open the box. Sometimes, a court appointed attorney is assigned to witness the opening of the box and examine its contents as well. This "law" is a bunch of BS, but there is no other way to get to that safety box once an owner is deceased. Anyone else experience this?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions