(755 ILCS 15/0.01) (from Ch. 17, par. 1500)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Safety Deposit Box Opening Act.
(Source: P.A. 86-1324.)
(755 ILCS 15/1) (from Ch. 17, par. 1501)
Sec. 1. Upon being furnished with satisfactory proof of death of a sole lessee or the last surviving co-lessee of a safe deposit box, the lessor shall open the box and examine the contents in the presence of a person who presents himself and furnishes an affidavit which states that (a) he is interested in the filing of the lessee's will or in the arrangements for his burial, (b) he believes the box may contain the will or burial documents of the lessee and (c) he is an interested person within the meaning of this Act. The lessor shall not open the box in accordance with this Act if the lessor has received a copy of letters of office of the representative of the deceased lessee's estate, other applicable court order, or a small estate affidavit in accordance with Article XXV of the Probate Act of 1975. The lessor need not open the box if (a) the box has previously been opened in accordance with this Act, (b) the lessor has received notice of a written or oral objection from any person or has reason to believe that there would be an objection, or (c) the lessee's key or combination is not available. The lessor shall authorize a representative of a decedent's estate or a person designated in a small estate affidavit pursuant to Article XXV of the Probate Act of 1975, upon presentation of letters of office, other applicable court order, or small estate affidavit, to open the box and examine and remove the contents.
For purposes of this Act, the term "interested person" means any person who immediately prior to the death of the lessee had the right of access to the box as a deputy, any person named as executor in a copy furnished by him of a purported will of the lessee, or the spouse, an adult descendant, parent, brother or sister of the lessee. If the affidavit states that none of the persons described above is available to be present at the opening of the box, the term "interested person" also means any other person who the lessor in its sole discretion determines may have a legitimate interest in the filing of the lessee's will or in the arrangements for his burial.
The lessor shall remove any document which appears to be a will or codicil and deliver it to the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the lessee resided immediately prior to his or her death, if known to the lessor, otherwise to the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the safe deposit box is located. Delivery of a will or codicil called for herein may be made by registered mail sent to the clerk of the said court. The lessor may remove any burial documents and deliver them to the interested person. No other contents may be removed pursuant to this Act.
The lessor is not required to look into the truth of any statement in the affidavit required to be furnished under section one of this Act. The lessor's determination of the fact situations to be met under this act shall be conclusive and final. The lessor shall be fully protected in relying conclusively on it.
(Source: P.A. 98-836, eff. 1-1-15.)