Skip to comments.*Vanity* I have a safe deposit box key, now what? *Vanity*
Posted on 02/07/2014 12:33:10 PM PST by null and void
Since FReepers know everything...
Amongst my late father's effects we found a safe deposit box key. Little blue envelope, a box number hand written on the flap, nothing to identify which bank or branch.
Is there some way short of going to each of the thousands of banks in a hundred mile radius to determine where the box might be?
If its still valid, there has been an annual fee that has been paid for keeping the box. Track it that way.
A box cannot be opened by anyone other than those on the list or those authorized (in writing) by the estate lawyer.
Rather than travel to that many banks, consider:
1)taking a picture of the key,
2)use the web to build a list of banks in a 10 mile radius,
3)email each branch explaining your situation
in the email, give them the full name and address
and ask if the picture of the key matches their boxes.
This worked for my grandmother’s box but there were only 10 banks in that area of rural GA.
Oh, should have read down. It’s been years, you say. Hmm, after X amount of time, it may have already been turned over to the government. Check your state’s unclaimed money and property. I take it you don’t have his statements anymore? Then start calling each of the banks he used over the years. On second thought, go by each of his banks in person so they have to deal with you face to face. It’s too easy to poo-poo you off on the phone. It’s unlikely he had a box that he didn’t bank at. If you can’t find it, then tell yourself he emptied it decades ago and forgot to return the key so you don’t worry over it.
Possible strategy at 1:11.
The good, the bad and the ugly - Ecstasy of Gold
1. Call 911 immediately.
2. Cower in a corner until the cops show up.
3. After they shoot your dog, turn over the key to the authorities.
If it’s been years since the bill was paid, the box has likely long since been drilled and re-let. Check abandoned property records for the state in question to see if anything was turned in.
And if it’s been long enough, the physical bank or branch might not even still be in existence. If you want to track it down as a hobby, have at it, but you are unlikely to find a pot of gold at the end of the road.
Go to your local post office. Ask for priority mail envelope
Put key in envelope
Seal envelope and sent it Immediately to VRWCarea51
Wait until you hear from me to proceed.
All kidding aside. I think I would as the executor or have the executor ask each bank that he did business with to send you a years statement. One should show a deduction or payment for the box. If not, I would look to the nearest bank that was in business for the past 25 years. Most likely the old hometown bank.
If not proceed to the next bank and repeat....good luck.
A thought also, back in the day when we lived in Rural America our Post office had safe deposit boxes...worth looking into.
Which bank handled his checking account?
I’m not sure how they do it, but I had the same problem with a relative that died. We found numerous keys to safe deposit boxes etc in the house. The estate lawyers found all the locations, but you do have to have authority via executor of the estate to open them. A good estate lawyer (which will be invaluable in settling the estate and is well worth the cost) knows how to handle these problems. They deal with them all the time. For what it’s worth.
Most safe deposit boxes have yearly fees, so start hunting in your father’s check book for any checks made out to Banks or Savings and Loans. Banks will waive fees on accounts if their customers have large balances, so also check anyplace he held a savings account or CD.
Try the comptrollers office...unclaimed funds in your state.
I’d inquire at any bank before I called a locksmith.
Another thought...send a copy of the death certificate and a clear photocopy of the key to every bank you would have gone to. Describe the situation to them in a clear letter. You may get a hit if one of them will request you prove you are the rightful heir before confirming the existence of the box.
Look at it as an adventure. And an excuse to stop at every donut shop within a hundred mile radius.
Then, yes, call every bank in 100 mile radius. Tell them that he died, that you think he had accounts there, and ask them to confirm whether or not he did. Also, as another FReeper suggested, check the state’s abandoned property records.
most limey where he does banking
If your family is anything like mine, it will contain a post-it note with “You’re ADOPTED!” on it and nothing else.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.