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Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33144
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My father died 13 yrs ago and my mother died 12 yrs ago I

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My father died 13 yrs ago and my mother died 12 yrs ago
I have death certificates for both
They did not have any wills

My mother had a safe deposit box at a bank
She was the sole authorization to the box

I have recently been notified by the bank that there are fees due on the box
And they have listed an inventory of the box which is mostly jewelry

What steps must I follow in order to retrieve the contents of the box?
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
If no one has ever opened a surrogate court case to settle mother's estate, then you could file a "small estate affidavit" if the value of the jewelry would be estimated at $30,000 or less. Once you complete the small estate affidavit, you simply present it to the financial institution holding the assets and they will then turn them over to you.
You can access this link and it will actually walk you through the steps to create the small estate affidavit:
This site is set up by the NY Courts to help non attorneys correctly complete the forms so that the deceased's assets can be release to them for distribution to the heirs.
Or you can download the forms directly from here:






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