2. When and how can the executor/administrator remove the items inside the deceased's safe deposit box at a bank?
Solely rented safe deposit box
After the taking of inventory, any removal of documents from the box before a Grant of Representation must be authorised by the Home Affairs Department (details can be found on the website of the Home Affairs Department - Estate Beneficiaries Support Unit) . Generally speaking, only documents relevant to an application for a Grant of Representation, or personal items relating to a person other than the deceased and urgently required by that person, can be removed. Documents and articles of value will not generally be permitted to be removed.
Jointly rented safe deposit box
If the jointly rented safe deposit box has a survivorship agreement with the bank, after the inventory has been prepared, the surviving renter (if he is the executor/administrator or has obtained the written consent of that executor/administrator) can apply to the Home Affairs Department for authorisation to remove the contents of the safe deposit box. However, the surviving renter will be able to remove all contents of the safe deposit box without authorisation from the Home Affairs Department after 12 month from the date of death of the deceased.