Safe-deposit boxes are a great way to keep your valuables safe. If you have never opened a safe-deposit box, you may not understand how it works. There are some things to be aware of when opening a safe-deposit box:
- Find a bank that is close to your home. It makes things easier for you should you need something right away. Keep in mind, if you already have an account with a particular bank, they may give you a discount on the safe-deposit box.
- Safe-deposit boxes come in different sizes and prices. You may start with just paperwork in the box, but as time goes on you may need to put larger items in there, such as jewelry. Keep this in mind when deciding on what size safe-deposit box you are going to rent.
- You will need to sign an authorization card and will then be given one set of keys. It is important to remember that if you lose this set of keys, you must immediately report it to the bank. In some cases, a locksmith may need to come in, open your safe-deposit box, and replace the lock.
- You may also want to consider whether there is a trusted family member that you want to add to the list of those who are able to open your safe-deposit box. In the event that something should happen to you, it could take a court order and weeks before anyone could view the contents of your safe-deposit box.
- Keep a list of what is contained in your safe-deposit box. Keep this information in a fireproof box at home. This is for your information as well as for your family if you decide not to grant them access to your safe-deposit box. It is important to remember that safe-deposit boxes are not FDIC insured.
Important Things to Remember
It is not a good idea to put original Wills or Powers of Attorney in your safe-deposit box. If no one has access to this information, there is no way to prove who has the Power of Attorney or who is the Executor of your Will. Without a court order you cannot get into that box, and even then it can be difficult at some banks.
Always stand in a position that allows you to clearly see what the bank staff is doing when you open your safe-deposit box. You want to be able to see when they open your box and when they close your box.
Safe-deposit boxes are a great way to keep your items safe. Use these tips to help you when you go to the bank to rent your box.