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Death and the Safety Deposit Box

When the Assets of an Estate Include a Safe Deposit Box

When the renter of a safe deposit box passes away, how do you gain access to the box? Before we answer that question, warning, even if you have Power of Attorney and have the keys to the box, hold off accessing it after the renter has passed away. You will see why as you continue to read below.

 

The Florida Statues have specific instructions on how to open a safe-deposit box that are stated in Section 733.6065. You will need to have received appointment from the Court as personal representative before access will be granted. Once you have received the Letters of Administration, you can contact the bank to schedule a time to open the safe deposit box. It is suggested that you bring the death certificate of the renter and the Letters of Administration to the bank. The safe deposit box must be opened in the presence of any two of the following people, an employee of the institution, the personal representative or the personal representative’s attorney.

 

At the time the box is opened, an inventory of the contents must be completed and those present will sign the inventory. The inventory is to be filed with the Court within 10 days of the safe deposit box being opened along with a copy of the safe deposit box entry record for the 6 months prior to the renter’s death. The personal representative is allowed to take the contents of the box at this time.

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