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Thread: Joint owned safe deposit box. Probate?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Joint owned safe deposit box. Probate?

    When one owner of a jointly owned safe deposit box dies does the contents go
    through probate or just pass to the other box owner?
    Don't read more into this than what I'm asking. I'm the surviving joint box
    owner and I intend to distribute according to the will either way.
    I'm in Indiana



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Default Joint owned safe deposit box. Probate?

    "JOHN D" <jawnd393one@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:iQwSe.12318$IT4.9559@trnddc04...
    When one owner of a jointly owned safe deposit box dies does the contents go through probate or just pass to the other box owner? Don't read more into this than what I'm asking. I'm the surviving joint box owner and I intend to distribute according to the will either way. I'm in Indiana
    I know nothing about Indiana law, and for that matter, I know nothing about
    the laws in my own state concerning ownership of the contents of safe
    deposit boxes. So this answer cannot be relied on as legal advice. This is
    just discussion. I'll tell you what I think is logical, but in order to
    find out the legal answer, you will need an Indian attorney. A probate
    attorney should know.

    Ownership of the safe deposit box account has nothing to do with ownerhip of
    the contents. The contents will be part of the estate unless the contents
    (a) are in a trust, or (b) ownership of the contents is in some form of
    joint tenancy. Joint tenancy is easy to achieve regarding land because of
    the title documents. Joint ownership of deposit accounts is easy to achieve
    because the bank will set up the account that way if properly asked.
    Ownership of personal property is a bit tricker, but can be done. But if
    the only thing done by you and the deceased owner was to jointly own the
    safe deposit box account, it's unlikely that you have converted personal
    property contents to joint ownership.

    McGyver



  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    15

    Default Joint owned safe deposit box. Probate?


    "JOHN D" <jawnd393one@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:iQwSe.12318$IT4.9559@trnddc04...
    When one owner of a jointly owned safe deposit box dies does the contents go through probate or just pass to the other box owner? Don't read more into this than what I'm asking. I'm the surviving joint box owner and I intend to distribute according to the will either way. I'm in Indiana
    As of 10 years ago in Indiana, it was the executor of the estate that
    distributed the estate. If some contents of the box are clearly the
    property of the deceased with no joint ownership/survivorship specific to
    each item, then they would need to go to the estate and through probate.

    While you jointly have access to the box (you don't actually own the box),
    you don't necessarily have joint ownership to the contents.

    Also as of 10 years ago in Indiana, when the primary account holder on a
    joint checking/savings account died, and administrative freeze was placed on
    the account until released by county to ensure any possible inheritance
    taxes were satisfied. When my mother died (Primary account holder on a
    joint checking account with my Grandmother) the bank froze my Grandmothers
    checking account as required by state law, but never bothered to notify her.
    She didn't find out until checks started bouncing (one of the first was to
    the Minister who delivered the eulogy). I don't know if this is still the
    case.

    hth
    nan
    Not a lawyer.



  4. #4
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    Default Joint owned safe deposit box. Probate?

    On Sun, 04 Sep 2005, "JOHN D" <jawnd393one@yahoo.com> wrote:
    When one owner of a jointly owned safe deposit box dies does the contents go through probate or just pass to the other box owner?
    Unlike what pertains for a joint bank account, saying without more
    that two persons jointly lease (or, if there are facilities which
    actually sell outright such devices) really do jointly "own" a box or
    other container in which papers/things are stored does not tell anyone
    anything about who owns the contents of that box/container.

    (It is of course very common, however, especially when dealing with a
    bank, for the safe deposit contract of an institution from which the
    customer purchases or leases use of a safe deposit box to address what
    the answer to the question you pose above shall be as between/among
    such an institution and those customers or for there to be some other
    agreement/documents which may be dispositive or at least instructive,
    although you neglect in your posting/query to provide any information
    about any of these alternatives.)
    Don't read more into this than what I'm asking.
    I'm not, which is exactly why some version of the response above is
    the only one enabled by the facts as you so far posit them.
    I'm the surviving joint box owner . . .
    . . . and so, presumably, you know what if anything the deceased
    co-owner of that box and what if anything you owned that is inside
    that container . . .
    . . . and I intend to distribute according to the will either way.
    Your "either way" appears to beg the very question you pose:

    If, f'r'instance, you own the contents of the box in question, then it
    would seem (at least without knowing more of the factual details) that
    (even if the box's co-owner's will purports to say otherwise) . . .
    well, . . . you own whatever it is that you own in the box.

    (Compare, in other words, Mr.A leaving an otherwise valid will which
    includes a provision that purports to direct, "I leave the Brooklyn
    Bridge and Trump Tower to Ms.B" then answer for yourself whether, if
    Mr.A dies later today without having revoked that will, that provision
    will result in Ms.B owing the Brooklyn Bridge and Trump Tower.)


  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    26

    Default Joint owned safe deposit box. Probate?

    Thank you for your replies
    If I got this right you all think I don't own the contents of the box
    unless the stuff was mine in the first place.
    And one of you thinks that the banks lease agreement for the box may have an
    answer.





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