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Home>Should I travel 3,000 miles to look inside my late husband's safety deposit box?

Should I travel 3,000 miles to look inside my late husband's safety deposit box?

Should I travel 3,000 miles to look inside my late husband's safety deposit box?

10/02/2017

By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch

This woman asks, 'Am I within my rights to request an inventory of the box?'

Dear Moneyologist,

My husband passed away unexpectedly last year. He died about six months after the death of his mother. I just learned that my husband and his mom jointly held a safety deposit box at a bank in San Francisco. Now they're both dead and I'm having trouble gaining access to the safety deposit box.

The bank says I'll need to fly to San Francisco with the key and death certificates in order to inspect the contents of the box.

My mother-in-law had very little money (she spent the last of her years in government housing) and I am trying to figure out if it's even worth my time to arrange a trip. I live on the east coast and I would be surprised if the contents of the box are worth even half of the cost of a plane ticket.

Also see: Will I automatically inherit my husband's house? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/will-i-automatically-inherit-my-husbands-house-2015-11-20)

I have death certificates for my husband and his mother. I have his mother's will and a letter of testamentary from the courts appointing me as the executor to my late husband's estate. And I have the key to the box. My husband had a relationship with a financial adviser in town, and I would trust him to take inventory of the box if need be.

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