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Son was over 18 and a legal adult with the apartment lease in his sole name, correct?
Ok, if he was the only one on the lease, then when he passed, everything in it became the property of his estate. Only a representative of his estate, executor if he had a will, Administrator if he didn't, can legally gain access to the dwelling to take possession of anything in it. Legally the landlord won't allow anyone else in because if something was taken, then they can be held liable once the estate representative contacts the landlord.
So if son didn't have a will, then someone in the family will have to file a probate case in the local probate court so they can be appointed Administrator of the estate and then would have the right to get the landlord to allow access.