should I rent a safe deposit box?
It is a convenient place
to store important items that would be difficult or impossible
to replace. The safe deposit box also offers privacy (only you
know what is inside) and security. Although many people like to
keep valuables close by in a closet, safe or file cabinet at
home or in the office, these places probably are not as
resistant to fire, water or theft. Also, some insurance
companies charge lower insurance premiums on valuables kept in a
bank's safe deposit box instead of at home.
items should go into a safe deposit box?
items that would cause you to say, "If I lose this, I am in deep
trouble." Important papers to consider putting into your safe
deposit box: originals of your insurance policies; family
records such as birth, marriage and death certificates; original
deeds, titles, mortgages, leases and other contracts; stocks,
bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs). Other valuables worthy
of a spot in your safe deposit box include special jewels,
medals, rare stamps and other collectibles, negatives for
irreplaceable photos, and videos or pictures of your home's
contents for insurance purposes (in case of theft or damage).
what should NOT go in a safe deposit box?
might need in an emergency, in case your bank is closed for the
night, the weekend or a holiday. Possible examples: originals of
a "power of attorney" (your written authorization for another
person to transact business on your behalf), passports (in case
of an emergency trip), medical-care directives if you become ill
and incapacitated, and funeral or burial instructions you make.
Consider giving the originals to your attorney, and making
copies to go in your safe deposit box or to give a close friend
have a will, should it go in my safe deposit box?
your will should be at the bank or elsewhere, such as with your
attorney, depends on what your State law says about who has
access to your safe deposit box when you die. Ideally, the
person you name to oversee your financial matters after you die
(your "executor" or "personal representative") should have early
access to your original will (copies are not valid). Some States
make it relatively easy for co-renters, family members or the
executor to remove the will and certain other documents (such as
life insurance policies and burial instructions) from a deceased
person's safe deposit box. In those States, it may be a good
idea to leave your will in the safe deposit box. But other
States may require a court order or another official action to
remove the will, which can take time and money. That is why you
should check with your lawyer to find out what is required under
State law and your bank's own policies in the event of your