How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102597
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My father is infirm. My step-mother is trying to gain access

This answer was rated:

My father is infirm. My step-mother is trying to gain access to my grandmother safety deposit box. My grandmother died in 2010. She wants me (I am on the account) and my father to drive all the way to Long Island, New York to gain access to the box. My father is too sick to take that long of a trip. What options do I have?
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a reply. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear.

I am sorry for your family's situation. Can you please confirm who actually owns the safety deposit box at the moment - your father, correct? And he does not wish to make the drive?

Are you asking if he has to, or what are his rights, or if he can grant a power of attorney? Or, something else?

This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Both my father and I are on the account. He is too ill to make the drive. He just got out the hospital last week. Also he is on a feeding tube.

My step-mother (she is not on the account, nor does she have power of attorney) is trying to force him to find out what's in the box.


Can she without him get access to that box. Let's say she somehow gets power of attorney from him. What rights do I have?

Thank you, friend,

Can she without him get access to that box. Let's say she somehow gets power of attorney from him. What rights do I have?

In the end, both you and him have access to the box. She cannot force him to do anything unless he wants to. So if he refuses, then she cannot do this. Now, she can ask him for a Power of Attorney. A power of attorney would allow her to act on his behalf, but he'd have to grant that power of attorney to her.

Secondly, if he loses consciousness, she can request "guardianship" from the court, which would allow her to act on his behalf for financial and other matters, consequently allowing her access to the box. However, you may contest both her appointment and nominate yourself, and/or simply contest her access to the box.

However, if he grants her a power of attorney, then you cannot stop her for she is acting on her behalf. Of course, you may always go yourself, first, and take whatever is of issue from the box.

IMPORTANT INFO: I hope this finds you well. Please use REPLY TO EXPERT to keep talking, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then SUBMIT, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating.
Ely and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you