How can I access a deceased loved one’s safety deposit box?
Under Florida law, a court order is required to access and remove the contents of a safety deposit box of the deceased, unless the box is jointly owned. This can create a hurdle for the loved ones of the deceased sole owner of the box, especially if the box contains the Last Will and Testament of the deceased.
Florida Statute §655.935 addresses this situation. It provides that, after sufficient evidence of the box owner’s death has been presented, a spouse, parent, or adult descendant can, under the advisement of a bank officer, open the box and remove certain items from it. These items are as follows:
-The person’s Will
-The person’s burial plot deed or burial instructions
-The person’s life insurance policy
The court may name a personal representative of the estate of the deceased after the Will has been admitted to probate, and this representative is, in turn, given greater access to the contents of the box.