Compliance Question of the Week

We have a deceased member who had a safe deposit box.  The executor has proper letters of testamentary, but we now have a beneficiary claiming that the property in the box belongs to them. What should we do?

In Washington, under RCW 11.11.100 you are not required to transfer a non-probate asset to anyone if you are aware of a dispute between parties claiming access to the contents of the safe deposit box. You may refuse to transfer the contents until it is worked out in court, or they all agree in writing to who gets what.

In Oregon, things are a little different. Oregon credit unions are permitted to open safe deposit boxes for will and trust document searches. They can even open the box to search for documents pertaining to the disposition of the member’s remains. If you are in doubt of the distribution of the contents, you can require the parties to settle it amongst themselves before releasing the property.

Related Links
RCW 11.11.100
ORS 723.844


Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465,

Posted in Compliance News.