Property of a Noblewoman A Novel By Danielle Steel.
Hal Baker felt it was a good day to stay indoors there was a bitter wind and the snowfall had turned to sleet. He was in charge of safe deposit boxes.He had three matters to deal with today. The smaller boxes had not been paid for thirteen months. He had sent out registered letters for each box.
‘ The lapse of payment usually meant that customers had abandoned them, although no always. After waiting a month past the unpaid year, with no response to the registered letter, Hal could now call a locksmith to drill them open, and assumed he would find the boxes in question empty.’ Some clients didn’t bother telling the bank they no longer needed a safe deposit box.
One of five large boxes had gone through the process and in front of a notary public, he had inventoried the contents. There was expired passports for American and Italian, issued in Rome. There were folders with the neat handwriting on them, one with photographs in it, one with the passports and one with documents and papers. Two thick bundles of letters one in written in Italian, the other in English. And twenty-two jewelry boxes all holding a single item of jewelry. Even his untrained eye could see the items looked valuable. Hal had also looked for a last will and testament and could not find one. ‘His job now was to notify the surrogate’s court of New York of the existence of the abandoned box, the lack of a will, and turn the contents over to them.
They would be charged with determining if the renter was deceased and without any will or next of kin, they would place an ad in the papers, inviting relatives or heirs of the deceased to come forward and claim her belongings. If no one turned up the items would be sold at auction and the proceeds would go to the State of New York.
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