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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34300
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My father passed way 6 days ago, i have opened safety deposit

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My father passed way 6 days ago, i have opened safety deposit box with HSBC few years ago under my name later i added my father's name today at hsbc they told me that i have to go to court to get letters of voluntary administration to get access to my box it is being paid out of my checking account is it true i am in new york state
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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How is the box actually titled?
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Does it say "XXXXX XXXXX and XXXXX XXXXX" or "XXXXX XXXXX or XXXXX XXXXX"?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

unfortunately i dont remember and i cant find papers for it what is the difference

Ok, my guess is that it used the term "and" based on the bank's response. If you have titled it with the AND then you both would have been owners of the box and when father passed, his estate would step into that ownership role and would become the owner with you. The "and" designation means that both owners have to agree for any action to be taken so the representative for the estate would have to agree to access the bank box.
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So if the bank is refusing to allow access then you would have to file to open a probate case to settle father's estate and be named as personal representative so you would then have legal authority to access the box if it is partially owned by the estate.
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I realize it doesn't make much sense since you opened it and you paid for it, but when you added father to it as an owner, once he passes and the bank becomes aware of it, they won't allow anyone access until someone is formally appointed as the representative of the estate.
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Thanks
Barrister
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