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Financial Resource Center

Safe Deposit Boxes

Safe deposit boxes are handy tools, and yet they are sometimes overlooked when thinking about important banking services.  Safe deposit boxes provide a safe place away from your home or office to store valuables which provide peace of mind and organization at a very affordable price.

When renting a safe deposit box, make sure to choose the right size.  Many people start by renting a small box only to discover that it quickly becomes filled, so it’s a good idea to think about what you plan to store in it before selecting a size.  Next, you will need to determine who is allowed to access the box. Upon rental, your bank will provide a key (or keys) that must be kept in a safe place, but also a place where you will remember. Lastly, it is important to remember that the contents of a safe deposit box are not insured by the bank or covered by FDIC insurance.

What to Keep in Your Safe Deposit Box

Safe deposit boxes are the best places to keep items that have monetary, essential, and sentimental value. This might include jewelry, special collections, stock certificates, photos, important papers, and more. It’s also a good idea to include a household inventory (video taped or written), along with any appraisals, listings of insurance policies, and credit card numbers. We also suggest keeping an updated log of your box’s contents at home, so you can quickly locate and help keep track of these important items. Below are some additional suggestions of items for your safe deposit box:

  • Jewelry and family heirlooms
  • Coin, stamp, and baseball card collections
  • Negotiable investment instruments like bonds, stock certificates
  • Photos or historical records that can not be replaced
  • Adoption papers
  • Birth certificates
  • Citizenship papers
  • Military documents
  • Divorce papers
  • Vital back up data files from your PC
  • Passports, if they are seldom used
  • Important contracts and business agreements
  • Real estate deeds, mortgages, and car titles
  • Confidential records
  • Copies of important financial records that you keep at home
  • Copies of insurance policies
  • Copies of wills, living trust documents, powers of attorneys

What Not to Keep in Your Safe Deposit Box

It is important to remember that only you can open your safe deposit box, and only when your bank is open. Therefore, should something happen to you, items that others may need to obtain if you are not present should not be kept in your box. Original wills, powers of attorney, living trust documents, other trust documents, and insurance policies should not be in your safe deposit box.

 

Banking Basics