How to Unseal a Residence After Death
The police will most often seal the apartment when the death is reported to them. The purpose for sealing the apartment is to preserve assets and evidence. This article outlines the process of unsealing a residence of your friend or family member after their death.
Find the Address of the Surrogate's Court in the County where Decedent died.Go to the Miscellaneous Department in the county where your friend of family member has died. Ask for a Petition to Unseal the Residence and Examine Apartment.
Fill out the FormsYou can fill out the Petition, as well as a Proposed Order to unseal the residence. You will also need to provide proof that you are either the next of kin, or what you have permission from the next of kin to conduct this search. For example, if your aunt died, you have to show that your aunt did not have children, parents, or siblings who are living and who want to conduct this search. If your mother died, you have to obtain an authorization from your brother that you can conduct this search.
Obtain the Order from the Surrogate's CourtAfter you have gathered all of the forms, go to Court, file the forms, and pay the $20 fee. The Surrogate's Court will review the forms and, if all in good order, will usually issue the Order within a few hours.
Contact the Police Precinct After the Order is IssuedOnce the Order is issued, call the Police precinct holding the keys to the apartment. The Police will either tell you to meet them at the apartment or to come to the precinct to be escorted to the Apartment.
Go to the Apartment with the PoliceWhen you open the Apartment, you can search for a Will, Burial Deed, Insurance, or other significant information immediately related to burying the Decedent or Probating his Will. After you have conducted you search, the Police will then seal the residence again and tell you to come back with Letters.
If you find the Will, you should then proceed to Probate the Will.
if you do not find a Will, you can either do a Proceeding to Open the Safe Deposit Box or a Petition for Administration.