“Effective immediately, neither a department or bank employee, nor lawyer or CPA must be present at a safe deposit box inventory” of a deceased person, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has announced. “The department no longer will provide employees to be present at safe deposit box inventories.”

Instead, a representative of an estate, acting alone, may enter a safe deposit box after giving proper notice.

The announcement, and the notice requirements, can be found in the Department’s Inheritance Tax Bulletin 2011-02. You can locate that bulletin at this link:http://bit.ly/l31vXV .

Despite this modified procedure, it is still good practice to have someone else present if you are taking the inventory of a safe deposit box. If a disgruntled beneficiary ever challenged your honesty, and was just sure that Mom left a diamond necklace in that box, a witness to your inventory could come in handy.

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