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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.

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Attorney answers 5


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.

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Go here:
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.


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.


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.


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