Successione

Safe deposit box of the deceased, what the heirs must do

Among a person's many assets, there may also be a safe deposit box in the bank, the contents of which are often ignored by others and known only to the owner.
The safe deposit box is used to store certain objects, often (although not necessarily) of high value.
Therefore, upon the death of the owner of the safe deposit box in the bank there are several doubts that grip the heirs.
Not only because the contents of the deceased's safe are unknown, but also because upon the death of the owner the bank is required by law to block the accounts and safes, without revealing any information to those who are not entitled to it.
The safe deposit box, more precisely its contents, could however be included in the inheritance and therefore belong to the heirs.
The latter can in fact request its opening, following the procedure established by law.
Here's what they need to do and what you need to know.
Who can open the deceased's safe deposit box and how to do it The opening of the deceased's safe deposit box can be requested exclusively by those called to the inheritance who have the right to know its contents in relation to the succession.
Just opening the box for the purpose of viewing the assets for tax purposes requires only the following documents: Identity documents of those entitled to the inheritance; death certificate of the deceased; affidavit (also in substitutive declaration); will, if present, in certified copy.
The opening of the box for the withdrawal of assets, however, can only be requested by those who have submitted the inheritance declaration and paid the relevant taxes.
If there is no agreement between all those entitled to the inheritance (and the co-owner, if existing), the release must take place in the presence of a notary or an official of the Revenue Agency.
If there are ongoing lawsuits, the parties' attorneys must also supervise.
Furthermore, in the presence of assets whose value must be established (such as jewellery, for example), a sworn appraisal is required, which establishes the value of the assets and consequently the inheritance taxes.
The appraisal is not necessary for assets whose value is assigned automatically, such as bonds and securities listed on the stock exchange.
read also Is a safety deposit box in the bank worth it? Costs, advantages and risks Times and costs The opening of the deceased's safe deposit box requires a certain amount of time, usually from 40 to 120 days, which lengthens considerably if there are legal cases in progress and the court is needed to appoint the expert.
The costs, then, are decidedly not cheap, because you have to pay the fee to the notary or official and possibly to the lawyer.
When the appointment of an expert is necessary, the figure can easily reach between 2,000 and 7,000 euros.
Unfortunately, however, it is not possible to find other ways to save time and money.
Also because if the box is left closed, all those entitled to it could block the succession with an appeal, because the box could contain the deceased's will.
Clearly, after viewing the assets it is therefore useful to evaluate what to do and possibly not proceed with the release (in agreement with the co-heirs) thus saving a little.
The best thing would instead be to have a delegation made by the owner who is still alive, so as to be able to open and even empty the box without any problems whatsoever.
The content, however, is not entirely up to the heir with delegation.
read also Safe deposit box in the bank, can it be seized? Does the content fall within the hereditary mass? The contents of the deceased's safe deposit box are to all intents and purposes included in the estate from the moment of its opening and must be included in the succession declaration, with the payment of the relevant taxes.
Everything flows into the inheritance mass and must be divided among the heirs according to their hereditary shares and respecting any legacies, therefore if there is a will it may happen that specific objects go to a legatee rather than being divided among the heirs.
The tacit acceptance of the inheritance The opening of the safe deposit box does not constitute tacit acceptance of the inheritance, since it is not an act performed as heirs (there is no management of the assets in question) but rather for the need to evaluate the inheritance and decide whether or not to accept the inheritance.
Actions on the assets contained in the box (such as a sale) instead constitute tacit acceptance, because they can only be carried out by the heirs.
read also Inheritance tax on immovable and movable property: what it is, calculation and when it is paid

Author: A.W.M.

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