A safe deposit box is not the best storage location for everything of value.
Many people do not own a home safe.
Instead, they believe it is best to utilize the security of the local bank.
They sign up for a safe deposit box and begin placing their valuables into the little box.
According to a recent yahoo! finance article titled “10 Items You Should Never Keep In a Safe Deposit Box,” this tool is not universally appropriate for every important asset or document.
Placing certain items in a bank can lead to significant complications.
What are some items to avoid placing in your safe deposit box?
By placing cash in a safe deposit box, you will be inviting inflation to work against you.
These funds will only decrease in value as inflation continues to rise.
In short, you will lose money even while the cash remains the same physical bills.
Alternatively, you should invest the money in an interest-bearing savings account or an investment fund.
For most people, jewelry is meant to be worn and is not necessarily irreplaceable.
Few people own something as valuable as the Hope Diamond.
If you do own something valuable and unique like a family heirloom, you should insure the item prior to placing it in the safe deposit box.
Most banks will not automatically insure the items held in these boxes.
Maybe you have a file cabinet or your own small safe at home.
Perhaps you rent a storage unit.
Although you may be tempted to keep the key to these places extra safe by storing them at the bank, resist this temptation.
If you need to access these locations, you will need to plan ahead and visit during normal business hours.
You may be worried someone will steal your passport from your home.
Although it is possible, the chances are very low.
It is better to keep this document with you so you will be ready to travel in case of an emergency.
Additionally, those with COVID vaccination cards should keep these accessible as well.
Loaded weapons, liquids, and explosives.
Storing these in a safe deposit box is a safety and security risk for the bank.
Generally, if you cannot take it on an airplane or ship it in standard mail, you should not store the item at the bank!
Estate planning document.
You should never place your last will and testament, advance health care directive, general durable power of attorney, trust documents, and funeral instructions into a safe deposit box.
Doing so can create many challenges for your loved ones who are left behind.
If you die or become incapacitated, the very documents they will need to access the box will be inside the box.
Rather, you should store these documents in a safe location at home and share the location with your loved ones.
If you have an advance health care directive, you should make copies and ensure your agents and physicians each have one.
Although a safe deposit box seems like a great storage solution, it is important to also have a waterproof and fireproof storage box at home for your loved ones to access in emergencies.
Finally, make sure your fiduciaries and agents can access your safe deposit box by giving them formal access now so they may access later.
Check with the bank for its specific procedure to make that happen and then make that happen.
Reference: yahoo! finance (Aug. 2, 2022) “10 Items You Should Never Keep In a Safe Deposit Box”