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Four Ways to Get Access to a Florida Safe Deposit Box

How can I get access to a safe deposit box of the deceased.

Four ways to get access to Florida Safe Deposit Box. Hello, my name is John Pankauski, I’m an estate lawyer in West Palm Beach. Maybe you know someone who has passed away who had a safe deposit box, how do you get access to a safe deposit box if you are not a lawyer and you have never run an estate before. First off, you can just go down there because sometimes the bank officer will know you and if you are on the safe deposit box, they may give you access to it right away. Secondly, you can do is provide a copy of the death certificate of the safety deposit box owner and your identification if you are on the title to the safe deposit box or if you are listed as a beneficiary. But remember in Florida, things can get confusing. Whether you are on the safety deposit box or not may or may not mean you are an owner or a joint owner or whether or not you have access to it and you have to think about what ability you have to get access to it. For example, do you own everything in the safe deposit box or do you have to bring it to the estate? What if the will says that property like a piece of jewelry in that safe deposit box goes to somebody under the will. The third thing you can do is open up a probate and get letters of administration on behalf of the personal representative or the executor, go down to the bank with that authority, that court filed document to inventory the assets, gather the assets, marshal the safe deposit box contents and then report on that in an accounting or an inventory to a probate court judge and the beneficiaries. The fourth thing to do is to get an order from a probate court if none of those things are working. It does involve opening up a probate proceeding, opening up an estate in Florida but that is not terribly difficult if you have the basic information. For more information about how to access safe deposit boxes or safety deposit boxes in Florida, talk to an experienced Probate or Estate attorney.