If the court has appointed his wife as guardian of his person and estate (property), it means that he can no longer transact business in the accounts or access the box. She can do so in his place, as guardian. You'll have to read the appointment document to determine the status of the guardian. If she only is guardian of his person, she doesn't get access to the accounts or safe deposit box in that capacity (she can access the box in her own right, though, as co-lessee). If you can't decipher the appointment, ask someone with familiarity with such documents -- your trust department or an attorney -- to check it out.
In this context, the word "estate" refers to the individuals property. It doesn't mean that the guardianship kicks in when he dies.
The guardianship (and the guardian's authority) ends with his death.
John S. Burnett
Fighting for Compliance since 1976
Bankers' Threads User #8