What are the Rules Governing the Contents of Safe Deposit Boxes?

Posted by ANGELA RICH HARTMANN | Feb 23, 2021

The New Jersey Revised Statutes 54:35-19 requires a 10-day notice, inventory and inspection of the content of a safe deposit box.  However, in 1992, the Division of Taxation determined it would waive these requirements, allowing for the release of the contents of a safe deposit box without inspection or inventory.  N.J.A.C. 18:26-11.20.  This blanket waiver, effective October 19, 1992, was issued by the Director, and has been re-issued every five years. 

The most recent blanket waiver was re-issued for the five-year period beginning January 1, 2022 and expiring January 1, 2027.  By issuing the waiver, the Director authorizes institutions holding safe deposit boxes in the name of decedent as individual, jointly or otherwise, to allow for the release the contents without the 10-day notice, inspection or inventory requirements.  The safe deposit box may be standing in the decedent's name individually, jointly or otherwise.

The blanket waivers for safe deposit boxes are due for re-issuance on January 1, 2027.

For more information about Domicile or Residence or to discuss your Estate Planning needs, contact Hartmann Law today.

(Revised December 23, 2022)

About the Author


Angela Rich Hartmann is a New Jersey attorney serving clients in the areas of estate, business, and real estate law.