About the author : Craig Andreoli

Did you know that if you co-own a safe deposit box with someone and your co-owner dies, you will have to start a Surrogate’s Court proceeding to view and then remove the items from the safe deposit box, even if the co-owner is your spouse? For example, you and your spouse co-own a safe deposit box that contains some valuable belongings. Your spouse passes, and you expect to have access to those valuable belongings. Despite your expectations, New York banking law and the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act require you to wait for the Surrogate’s Court to grant you access to view the contents of the safe deposit box. Specifically, you must first file with the Surrogate’s Court a Petition to Examine the Safe Deposit Box.
Weeks later, you finally obtain the paperwork from the Surrogate’s Court, you take it to the bank where the safe deposit box is located, and you are permitted to view the contents of the safe deposit box and make an inventory of its contents in the presence of a bank officer. What comes next however, is the most troublesome part. You cannot remove the contents of the safe deposit box!
To remove the contents, you must then commence a proceeding in Surrogate’s Court. The type of proceeding and the Court filing fees for that proceeding will depend on the value of the items in the safe deposit box.
The Andreoli Law Group, P.C. is experienced in Surrogate Court proceedings, including the examination of safe deposit boxes, Voluntary Administration (a/k/a Small Estate) proceedings, Probate proceedings and Administration proceedings. Contact us to discuss your options if you have a co-owned safe deposit box or if you need to commence one of the above-mentioned Surrogate’s Court proceedings.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.

About the author : Craig Andreoli