51A-11-7 Death of lessee--Procedures for opening and delivery of contents of safe deposit.
Death of lessee--Procedures for opening and delivery of contents of safe deposit.
If only one lessee is named in the lease agreement covering a safe deposit box rental and such lessee
shall die, the safe deposit box may be opened at any time thereafter and all contents may be
delivered, without inventory, to the personal representative or special administrator of a deceased
lessee, and without liability to the lessor.
In the alternative, after the lessee's death, the safe deposit box may be opened at any time, in the
presence of those persons presenting the key thereto and claiming to be interested in the contents
thereof, by two employees of the lessor, one of whom shall be an officer of the lessor. The employees
may remove all instruments of a testamentary nature and personally deliver or forward them by
registered or certified mail to the probate court having apparent jurisdiction. The employees may
deliver life insurance policies contained in the box to the beneficiary named in the policies. Any and
all other contents of the box so opened shall be kept and retained by the lessor and shall be delivered
only to the parties legally entitled to the same.
If no person presents the key to the safe deposit box within six months after the death of the
lessee, the lessor, by two employees, one of whom shall be an officer of said lessor, may open the
box by forcible entry and remove the contents and deliver the same to the probate court, subject to
the payment of rentals, of expenses, and the repairs.
This section applies if all of the lessees under a joint leasehold agreement are deceased.
Source: SL 1969, ch 11, § 9.7; SL 1970, ch 265, § 49; SDCL 51-23-7; SL 2000, ch 229, § 18.