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How do I access my deceased father's safe deposit box?

Westlake Village, CA |

My father passed away recently and we have been unable to find any personal documents. We do have a key to his safe deposit box where these things may be stored. We are not aware of which bank may have his safe deposit box. How do we find out and if we do how do we access it? i am the sole survivor.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

go to the bank and ask them what legal documents they need to open box. They will probably require you to go to court and get Letters of Probate appointing you executor.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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Posted

Go here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html
Check the "Probate" box.
Search "331"

Read Probate Code Section 331 to see who to get into the safe deposit box, and what you can do once you have access.

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Posted

If you don't know which bank it is, you've got to start there - figuring out the bank.

It's probably a bank that your father used for other accounts, although perhaps not. If you check the local banks that he used and the box is not with them, try some other banks near your father's house.

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Posted

I do not know who click the thumbs down, but the probate code is very clear on how to get into the box, and "letters" are definitely not required. Take a look.

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Posted

To find the bank all you have to do is wait for the mail.

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