When you lose a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is paying their storage bill, but you probably also don’t want to think about losing those priceless memories. Because settling an estate can take months or even years when they are contested, it is imperative that you contact your loved one’s storage facility as soon as possible.

If your parent or loved one did not also list your name on their storage unit lease, the first step in accessing their possessions will be contacting the storage facility and letting them know of your loved one’s demise. The storage facility will then ask for information regarding the executor of the estate.

The executor of the estate, usually a person named in your loved one’s will or appointed by the court when a will is not present, will then be tasked with paying for the unit while the estate is settled. This is an important part of keeping your loved ones’ possessions safe. Even in the case of a person’s demise, if the rent on the storage unit is unpaid, the storage facility can seek to auction the unit. Here at 422 Spacemall in Oaks, we try to be sensitive to the family after a loss, but we are still required to collect the rent.

We also cannot simply give you access to your loved one’s unit on your say so. Providing a copy of a death certificate or obituary is also insufficient. When a loved one passes and no one else is listed on the lease, we must have legal documentation before we can give anyone access to the unit. This protects us all in case someone else makes a claim to the estate.

After the executor contacts the facility with legal documentation regarding the customer’s demise, the facility can transfer the unit into the executor’s name and all contact regarding the unit, including notices regarding liens and auctions, will go through that person until the final dispensation of the estate is made.

While the process may seem cumbersome in light of your grief, our goal is to protect the customer’s rightful heir. Until then, we can only express our deepest condolences.