Somebody has recently passed away and you have an interest in gaining access to his or her safe deposit box. How do you do that? You can’t just go into the decedent’s bank and demand it. What you need is the Petition and Order to Open Safe Deposit Box form. This form, once filled and filed with the probate court, will allow you to gain access to that safe deposit box.

The Petition and Order to Open Safe Deposit Box form is a State Court Administrative Office form. If you need this form, please reach out to us. We will gladly provide you with this form and any other probate court forms you may need.

Most of these State Court Administrative Office forms are associated with Michigan Court Rules and statutes. The Petition and Order to Open Safe Deposit Box form is no different.

The Petition and Order to Open Safe Deposit Box form is associated with MCL 700.2517, which states:

  (1) In the estate of a decedent who died before October 1, 1993, the following apply to the opening of a safe deposit box:

(a) A safe deposit box of which the decedent was an individual or joint lessee may be opened following the decedent’s death only upon compliance with the Michigan estate tax act, 1899 PA 188, MCL 205.201 to 205.256.

(b) A safe deposit box of the decedent who was an individual or joint lessee and for whom a fiduciary was appointed may be opened by that fiduciary in a like manner as provided by the Michigan estate tax act, 1899 PA 188, MCL 205.201 to 205.256, as it relates to deceased individuals.

(2) In the estate of a decedent who dies after September 30, 1993, the following apply to the opening of a safe deposit box:

(a) Whenever it appears to the court by petition of an interested person that a safe and collateral deposit company, trust company, corporation, bank, or other institution has leased to a decedent, either as an individual or joint lessee, a safe deposit box in the county in which the probate court has jurisdiction and that the safe deposit box may contain a will of the decedent or a deed to a burial plot in which the decedent is to be interred, the court may issue an order directing the institution to permit the person named in the order to examine the safe deposit box in the presence of an officer or other authorized employee of the institution. If a paper purporting to be a will of the decedent or a deed to a burial plot is found in the box, the person named in the order shall deliver the will or deed to the probate register or his or her deputy. The probate register or his or her deputy shall furnish a receipt to the person named in the order. An item contained in the safe deposit box other than the will or deed shall not be removed from the safe deposit box. At the time of the opening of the safe deposit box, all individuals in attendance shall execute a written statement certifying whether a will or deed to a burial plot is found and that no other items are removed, which statement shall be delivered within 7 days after execution to the probate register or his or her deputy. Before the court enters the order, there shall be paid to the probate register a fee of $10.00, which shall be credited to the general fund of the county. If the decedent’s estate is administered in a probate court in the state, the party making payment of the fee may file a claim in the estate for that amount, which shall be charged as a cost of administration.

(b) The safe deposit box of an individual who is an individual or joint lessee and for whom a fiduciary was appointed may be opened by that fiduciary and its contents removed. If the safe deposit box is jointly leased, then the fiduciary may examine the safe deposit box only in the presence of an officer or other authorized employee of the safe deposit and collateral company, trust company, corporation, bank, or other institution. At the time of the opening of the safe deposit box, all individuals in attendance shall execute a written statement certifying as to what is removed from the box by the fiduciary. The fiduciary shall serve a copy of that statement on the other joint lessees within 7 days after removing the items.

(c) Notwithstanding another provision of this section, a surviving joint lessee of a joint safe deposit box has full access to the safe deposit box.

 

To help you understand this form better, Darren Findling of The Probate Pro dives deep into this form.

 

Like Darren, we’re ready to help you understand all things related to probate. So, if you have any probate related questions, don’t hesitate to give The Probate Pro a call today at (833) PROBATE. Our legal family is ready to help you.