What is the procedure to be followed on death of a locker hirer?
Rows of keys with numbered red tags in safety deposit boxes at a sporting venue or travel terminal for the safekeeping of personal valuables

What is the procedure to be followed on death of a locker hirer?


The nominations made by locker hirer or there is a survivor clause in joint operation of the locker, such nomination or survivorship would facilitate expeditious release of articles in lockers to hirer’s nominee/s. Here we will go through the procedure (1) where there is survivor / nominee clause (2) where there is no survivor / nominee clause.

  1. Access to locker where there is survivor / nominee clause;

(i)  In the case of death of a sole locker-hirer: If the locker hirer has nominated person, the nominee shall produce death certificate of the deceased locker holder and his/her (nominee’s) identification proof to the bank to have access to the locker of the deceased. No other records are required.

(ii) In the case of locker is hired in joint name and operated jointly: If nomination available, access to the locker may be allowed to the nominee jointly with the surviving hirer(s). The nominee shall produce death certificate of the deceased locker holder and his/her (nominee’s) identification proof to the bank. No other record/document is required.

(iii) In the cases of both / all the joint locker hirer(s) die: If nomination/s available, access to the locker may be given to the nominee(s).The nominee/s shall produce death certificate of the deceased locker holder and nominees’ identification proof to the bank. No other record/document is required.

(iv.) In case locker was hired in joint names with survivorship clause: If the locker is hired with operation by ‘either or survivor’, ‘anyone or survivor’ etc. (i.e. where the locker is not jointly operated under the contract), access to the locker is allowed only to the survivor on death of one of the hirers.

  1. Access to locker where there is no survivor / nominee clause

(i) In case of valid will: In the event of death of a sole locker-hirer (where there is no nomination) and there is a valid will, access may be given to the executor / administrator of the testator. In other cases, access may be given to the legal representative of the deceased. In such cases, death certificate and proof of legal representation is to be submitted to the bank.

(ii) In case of joint locker-hirers operated jointly: Where the locker is to be operated jointly and one of the hirers dies without nomination, the access to the locker may be allowed to the survivor jointly with the legal heirs (or the executor / administrator, if appointed) of the deceased hirer. In such cases, death certificate of the deceased hirer and proof of legal representation is to be submitted to the bank.

(iii)In case of joint locker-hirers with either or survivor clause:  Where the locker is operated by joint locker-hirers with either or survivor clause, and one of the joint locker hirer dies, the  access to the locker could be given to the survivor. To delete the name of the deceased person, only death certificate is required to be submitted to the bank. No other document is required to be submitted to the bank.

(iv) In case of joint locker-hirers where all the hirers  die without nomination:  In case all the hirers die without survivor clause and nomination is not available, in such cases access to the locker may be given jointly to the legal heirs of all the deceased hirers (or the executor / administrator if appointed). In such cases, death certificates of deceased hirers and proof of legal representation of legal heirs are required to be submitted to the bank.

In all the above cases, an inventory of the article/contents of the locker to be prepared in all the above cases and new locker hirer shall sign on such inventory list. Bank will keep such signed document with original SDL agreement. Banks are not required to open sealed/closed packets found in locker while releasing them to the nominee(s) and surviving locker hirers / legal heirs.

Related article:

  1. How a bank returns safe custody articles to nominee/legal heir?
  2. What is safe deposit locker and how to operate?

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