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What happens to the contents of safe-deposit box after customer dies?

August 19, 2013|By David Lazarus

I wrote recently about Bank of America charging a dead customer monthly checking account fees. Turns out they can do that for up to three years. After that amount of time, any funds in an inactive account must be turned over to the state controller's office.

James wants to know if the same applies to the contents of safe-deposit boxes. He said his father-in-law died with a safe-deposit box at Wells Fargo, but family members were unable to find out what was in it.

VIDEOS: David Lazarus answers consumer questions

First off, these sorts of things are a powerful reminder of the importance of getting your financial affairs in order. By that, I mean you should have a will that addresses who gets what.

As for safe-deposit boxes, check out today's Ask Laz video for the answer.

If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com for contact me via Twitter using the hashtag #AskLaz.

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