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No one is allowed to enter a safe deposit box-not even a joint owner-except to remove a will and/or burial instructions in the presence of a bank employee. The bank employee must complete PA Form REV-487 (Entry into a Safe Deposit Box to remove a Will or Cemetery Deed) to record the entry and mail it to the PA Department of Revenue. PA law states that the contents of safe deposit boxes must be inventoried before they can be removed.
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Effective May 11, 2011, neither a department or bank employee, nor lawyer or CPA must be present at a safe deposit box inventory. Instead, pursuant to the Inheritance and Estate Tax Act of 1991, a safe deposit box of a decedent may be entered at the time fixed in a notice mailed within seven days of the date of proposed entry, to the Department of Revenue and to the financial institution in which the box is located, 72 P.S. section 9193. The department no longer will provide employees to be present at safe deposit box inventories.
The Act requires that notice of a proposed safe deposit box entry and inventory must be delivered to the department via United States Postal Service with return receipt service. The Act allows that, when a person furnishes a signed statement under penalty of perjury that he/she, or someone on his / her behalf, has given this notice, the financial institution in which a safe deposit box of a decedent is located shall permit entry into the box and removal of its contents, without the presence of a department or bank employee.
Inheritance Tax DivisionPA Department of RevenueBureau of Individual TaxesDepartment 280601Harrisburg, PA 17128-0601Phone: 717-787-8327Fax: 717-772-0412Pennsylvania Department of Revenue SiteEmail Pennsylvania Department of Revenue