If I were to ask you where the following items are kept, what would be your answer? Where do you keep copies of your will and insurance policies, titles to your home and cars, a detailed list of bank accounts and credit cards, your marriage license or divorce decree, expensive but rarely worn jewelry, birth certificates and stock and bond certificates? If your answer is, “I’m not sure”, or you have all of these items in a drawer in your home, then maybe it’s time you thought about getting a safe deposit box.
A safe deposit box offers protection from fire, flood or other natural disasters. Should your home go up in smoke, at least your most valued possessions, copies of important papers and photographs saved on a USB will be protected when kept in a safe deposit box.
Only you know what is stored inside your safe deposit box-no one else, not your family or the bank. The cost of a safe deposit box varies depending on the size, and fees are charged annually. It can be an extremely cost effective solution to keeping your valuables safe.
When you place items in a safe deposit box, you’re less likely to misplace them. If anything happens to you, and your family requires access to your documents, they will know where to find all of them in one place. A power of attorney or designated agent can access the locked box on your behalf. Alternatively, you may also rent a safe deposit box jointly with a spouse, child or a friend. A safe deposit box can only hold so many items, so you will need to be selective about what you are placing in it. Although you will no longer need to keep track of your documents or family heirlooms, you will need to find a safe place for the safe deposit box key. Ordinarily each box is equipped with a double lock requiring two keys. One is a guard key and the other is the customer’s key. Each key is useless without the other.
Of course, unlike in your own home, you don’t have 24-7 access to your documents if they are stored in a safe deposit box at the bank. However, there is no doubt that the items placed in our safe deposit box are far safer, and less likely to be stolen than if they were in your own home. If you are concerned about the possible loss or damage to valuable items you place in your safe deposit box, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent to ask if your policy will cover them.
Never store items you may need in an emergency, such as originals of a power of attorney, passports, medical care directives, or funeral and burial instructions.
For information about renting a safe deposit box, visit https://www.wbsb.net/Personal-Banking/Safe-Deposit-Box/