Safe Deposit Boxes: Compliance with Oregon Laws Chapter 506

An individual who desires to open the safe deposit box of an deceased person who is the sole lessee or last surviving lessee of the safe deposit box must:

  1. Provide a copy of the decedent’s death certificate to the bank or other institution in which the safe deposit box is located.

  2. Provide an affidavit stating that the individual believes: (i) the box may contain the will of the decedent or a trust instrument creating a trust of which the decedent was a trustor or a trustee at the time of death: (ii) documents pertinent to the disposition of the remains of the decedent; and (iii) documents pertinent to the property of the estate of decedent or property of the estate of decedent or property of the estate of the decedent, and that the individual is an interested person as defined in Oregon Laws, Chapter 506 who wishes to make a search of the safe deposit box for a will or a trust instrument, obtain any documents related to the disposition of the decedent’s remains, or inventory the box.

  3. Be an interested person, defined as any one or more of the following:

    1. A person named as personal representative of the decedent in a purported will of the decedent;

    2. The surviving spouse or any heir of the decedent;

    3. A person who was serving as the court appointed guardian or conservator of the decedent or as a trustee for the decedent immediately prior to the decedent’s death;

    4. A person named as successor trustee in a purported trust instrument creating a trust of which the decedent was a trustor or a trustee at the time of the decedent’s death;

    5. A person designated by the decedent in a writing that is acceptable to the bank or institution and is filed with the bank or institution prior to the decedent’s death;

    6. A person who immediately prior to the death of decedent had the right of access to the box as an agent of the decedent under a durable power of attorney; or

    7. If there are no heirs to the decedent, the Director of State Lands.

  4. Once an individual has complied with the requirements outlined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 above, the following guidelines are applicable to the opening of the safe deposit box:

    1. If the safe deposit box is opened to search for a will or a trust instrument, a copy of the will or trust instrument may be given to the interested person.

    2. If the safe deposit box is opened for the purpose of obtaining documents pertaining to the disposition of the decedent’s remains, the institution may in it’s discretion: (i) give the original to the interested person; or (ii) give copies to the interested person.

    3. If the box is opened for inventory, the institution will provide copies to the interested person at the interested person’s request.

    4. If the interested person does not furnish the key to the box, the interested person may be required to pay for any expenses incurred in opening the box.

    5. Any examination of the contents of the box must be conducted in the presence of at least one employee of the institution.