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  1. #1
    Loomis Self Storage is offline Junior Member
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    Default Access for family of deceased?

    I just received a call from the father of a recently deceased tenant.

    He was asking if he could have access to his sons storage unit to empty it.

    He is listed as a guest on the account and has a key to the unit.

    Should I let him in?

    Thanks,
    Sean

  2. #2
    Gina6k's Avatar
    Gina6k is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Access for family of deceased?

    Sean, the short answer is No!

    This is where you need to harden your heart just a wee bit. Dad may have the legal right to enter and collect his son's belongings, but (please read the line below my signature) he needs to show you the appropriate court/probate documents that prove he has the right to see to his son's estate. In CA there are variations of probate law and documentation so I always double-check with our attorney to be on the safe side with any court documents.

    Maybe they were estranged and son left everything to a sibling or Mom or whoever. Besides, do you even know for sure the man is really your deceased tenant's father? Proceed cautiously and have your attorney or ownership authorize the access if you are unsure. Oh, and don't forget to photocopy the man's ID if you do ultimately allow him access to the unit.
    Gina 6k
    CochraneStorage dot com
    Morgan Hill, California
    twitter.com/CochraneStorage

    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
    I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

  3. #3
    FHARumRunner is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Access for family of deceased?

    Good advice as always. As I am the repository for many seniors' (and I am one) property who reside in a nearby home, it occurs here on an all too frequent basis that family member show up to claim their relatives things. As long as they bring the proper paperwork I allow them acess. Proper paperwork includes a death certificate, appointment as executor of the will and photo id.
    The End Is Near!

  4. #4
    Gina6k's Avatar
    Gina6k is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Access for family of deceased?

    Sean, a couple more thoughts. Explain gently why you are over-locking the unit & denying all access until you receive the proper docs. It is to protect the property for the rightful heir(s) and to be sure no other family or friend gains access and removes items. Go over lock that unit ASAP and deny access in your gate controller if you have one. Be compassionate, but firm.
    Gina 6k
    CochraneStorage dot com
    Morgan Hill, California
    twitter.com/CochraneStorage

    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
    I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

  5. #5
    MisterJim444 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Access for family of deceased?

    Sean:

    You may want to have your corporate policy on the issue of access to a deceased tenant’s unit formalized on facility letterhead. When confronted with this type of unfortunate circumstance, being able to provide someone with an official looking corporate document can totally shift the burden to the company and off the Manager’s shoulders. The document makes the family member realize that this is a legal matter and that you, as the manager, are not simply making things up.

    Taking the time to develop this type of document can save you from some arguments with distraught family members in the future. It can also provide families with the steps that they will need to take in your State to gain access. Many families today are scattered across the country and those steps could be very helpful to them. Make sure your corporate attorney approves any such document before using it.

    MisterJim444
    Learning Never Ends, But Will Time?

  6. #6
    Gina6k's Avatar
    Gina6k is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Access for family of deceased?

    MisterJim444, how I wish I had a formalized, on paper handout last month! What a great idea & thank you!! I had a couple of sisters pulling stuff and one absolutely hates the other, but the one had all her stuff in Mom's unit who was in hospice. I wish I had a document to hand over at that time, it would have saved me a lot of hassle. Hear that ring tone? That's me phoning our attorney. Thank you!
    Gina 6k
    CochraneStorage dot com
    Morgan Hill, California
    twitter.com/CochraneStorage

    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
    I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

  7. #7
    aWESome's Avatar
    aWESome is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Access for family of deceased?

    Good advice all around. When my SO's father passed away in March, she didn't know this and went to his storage unit at the local Public Storage and was denied access. It has taken nearly a year because the probate has been extremely drawn out and nasty but the unit is still being paid for by the estate and she'll probably have access before the end of the month.

    I'm glad they do have those policies in place, because inside that storage unit is a vintage motorcycle that has great monetary and sentimental value to her, and if one of her less scrupulous relatives gained access and took it and sold it, Public Storage would definitely have a lawsuit on their hands.

    It's a tough position to take, but its the best way to protect the intentions of the deceased, and your own bottom line.

    Cheers,
    Wes Merriott
    Property Manager
    Mansfield Road Storage Center
    Shreveport, LA

    Vires in Arduis!

  8. #8
    LLLVIS's Avatar
    LLLVIS is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Access for family of deceased?

    To go with that, IF they had set up something like a trust that avoids probate, it will also/should also already have the power of attorney letter in there that should also work. It will name who has rights much like an executor of a will. And the death certificate. And copy their ID!
    "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    http://larrylaunders.voice123.com/

 

 
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