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jb156200, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  I am a Probate Attorney practicing in Tampa, Florida.
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My father-in-law recently passed away & had a safety deposit

Customer Question

My father-in-law recently passed away & had a safety deposit box with approximately $45,000 cash. My 2 sister-in-laws DEMANDED his companion (one of them drove her) to go to the bank & get everything from the box. Then she was told if she told my husband they would DENY it !!! This was done approximately one month before he passed away. The will has been probated. The three of them are all co-executors of the estate. Do we have an recourse to this matter?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  jb156200 replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening. First, in order to open a safe deposit box the owner of the box must have their key and open the box in the presence of a bank representative. Not anyone can go and open a safe deposit box.If you believe there has been wrongdoing then one option is for your husband to contest the validity of the Will. If he is ok with the contents of the Will, then his next step would be to have his sisters removed as co-executors. Since the money was removed prior to death, this may be a little a tricky. First you would need to prove the contents of the safe deposit box and then you would need to sue the sisters for coercion. If your husband can prove to the court that his father was either coerced, under duress, or not competent when he removed the cash, your husband may be able to get an Order against his sisters for them to repay the estate the cash that was taken. The refunded money would then be distributed according to the father's Will.The tricky part is proving the existence of cash. Look for bank statements or notes indicating the presence of cash in the safe deposit box.I highly recommend hiring an attorney to handle this type of probate litigation.Please let me know if you have any additional questions, or need clarification, and thank you for rating my answer.