Updated: Mar 30
Renting a safe deposit box can help protect important personal documents, collectibles, and family heirlooms. But making an informed decision is important:
What is a safe deposit box?
The safe is usually a metal box located in the bank's secure vault and can be rented from a bank. It is usually accessible during normal banking hours. This could mean Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. No weekends or holidays.
Why use a safe deposit box?
A safe can be a great place to store valuables that you don't want to store at home.
Good things to put in the safe include:
Gold and silver jewelry and treasures
Jewelry or rare collection
Important contracts and commercial papers
You should not store items you may need in a short period of time or in an emergency. This includes passports, medical certificates or enduring powers of attorney, medical agents, and revocable living wills.
If you rent by yourself, please do not store your will, trust files or any other content that your heirs may need.
What is the difference between a bank safe deposit box and a family safe?
A family safe may be a major replacement for a safe.
A home safe is a good place for your passport or medical order, or if it is fireproof, you want to stay away from fire.
Is the property in my bank/hotel safe deposit box insured?
Why do you want to consider this? Like your home, theft, fire, floods, and other disasters can also cause serious damage to the bank vault.
If you want to store valuables, there is a common solution: add a special policy to your insurance policy to specifically cover these valuable items. Whether it's your diamond jewelry or rare items, your insurance agent can write a separate policy to cover specific valuables.
The second way: to protect your valuables by some means
If you want to store items that may be damaged by water - such as photos, paper or philately - seal them in a waterproof, plastic bag and seal them in a similar waterproof container.
For content such as family photos or personal files, please copy and store them electronically and leave instructions for how your family can access them.
Who should have access to your safe deposit box?
You can rent a safe deposit box for yourself and rent a safe deposit box with another person or several others.
If you share the co-owner for your safe deposit box, those people will have access to the same content as your content.
Therefore, people with addiction, money problems, marital problems or judgment problems are not suitable for joint leasing.
Some agencies will allow you to set access so that two (or all) lessors must be present to open it. But this is a very good choice.
Experts say it's wise to have a designated power of attorney to handle your financial affairs - including access to your safe deposit box - to prevent it from being used because of your illness or travel, or for other reasons.
Some banks may allow you to add a deputy to the safe. You can also revoke the appointment of the deputy, preferably to let the people you trust, so that they can use your safe.
What if you die?
There are multiple names on the safe account and this box should remain available.
However, the executor of the deceased may ask to enter the safe deposit box, which may become troublesome.
In the past, banks usually freeze the right to a safe deposit box when one of the tenants dies, waiting for the court's instructions. That is rare now.
Since this will have a significant impact on the paper you choose to store, ask the agency before leasing: What happens if one of the safe tenants withdraws?
If the agency does not know or seems uncertain, please consult your own lawyer or contact your local real estate lawyer.
If you rent the box separately, the box will seal after you die, and it may be weeks or months before it opens. “This means that your lawyer cannot get information on managing your property.
The executor who specifies that you will process the estate after your death will eventually receive your safe, but how fast it depends on the state and bank where you live.