Do I have the right to open the deposit box for I am my mother's executor? 15 Answers as of April 15, 2014

I came across my mother's safe deposit key in her belongings (she passed 2 years ago) that she had shared with her mother and sister.

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
If you are on the safety deposit box you can open it if not, you will need to be appointed by the court to open the box.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/15/2014
Home Town Law, P.A.
Home Town Law, P.A. | Sabina Tomshinsky
Per the Florida Probate Code you may access the contents of your mother's safety deposit box if certain requirements are met such as having a copy of the death certificate and witnesses to your access. There are also additional steps that must be taken to inventory the contents of the box after gaining access to the same. You really should consult with a probate attorney in your area to ensure that everything is done right.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/15/2014
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Possibly, if state law gives you that authority as a court appointed executor. However, you will want it to be witnessed an inventoried since there are other owners. The should be present if possible. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/15/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
If you have been appointed personal representative of her estate by a probate court you have the right to open it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/15/2014
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
Are you saying that probate is still open two years after your mother passed? In order to have the rights of a personal representative, you have to submit your mother's will to probate.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 4/15/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Try it. The bank may want some type of verification, such as your mother's death certificate and your identification.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Most probably yes, and depending on what the situation is I would most probably do that with a witness to allow you to inventory the contents of the box. If there is any dissension about the amount of or district distribution of your mother's estate the witness is mandatory.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    If you have been appointed the executor by the court, you will have letters of testamentary to present to the bank to access the safe deposit box.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    That depends. Have you been appointed as personal representative by the probate court? If YES, then you DO have the right to access the box. If you have not been appointed by the court, then you need to get permission from the probate court to search the box. You can only remove deeds to burial plots or Wills found there. You can, however, determine if there are other assets that would need to be probated. If you have opened an estate, the bank will allow you access to the box once you show them your Letters of Authority.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If you are a court appointed executor, yes you have the right to open it. The bank will need to see Certified Letters in order to let you in.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If the mother and sister are still living, I would inquire whether they are co-owners of the box. If they are not living or don't know about the box, once an estate is opened in your mother's name and the judge appoints you as the personal representative, the letters of administration that the court will give you will suffice for you to be open the box.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    Safe deposit boxes have annual payments. Who has been paying the fee? As the nominal executor you are obligated to investigate the safe deposit box to determine if any estate assets exist. If a probate was opened and is now closed you could reopen the probate to obtain the authority to open the safe deposit box. There is also a statutory procedure whereby the financial institution can allow you as the executor named in the Will to view the contents of the safe deposit box.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Yes, you'll have to give the bank a copy of your letters of authority.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If the estate is still open, you, as executor, still have the authority to open the box. However, since it is co-leased by others, they should be made aware of your intentions and be present at the time you open the box. That way there can be no complaints that you removed their possessions as well as your mother's.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Yes, as long as you opened a probate estate and have been appointed executor, it is your obligation to find your mother's property.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/15/2014
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