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The Benefits of a Safe Deposit Box

Safe deposit boxes are typically offered through your financial institution and can be used for a wide variety of items. Some people choose to leave their important documents such as a social security card, birth certificate, passport or even old coins and bills. If you’re considering renting a safe deposit box to keep your valuables, family heirlooms or important documents, here are a few things to consider before you rent one.

 

According to Bankrate, there is an annual cost that typically varies from $30 to $100. If you are renting the smallest box available, your annual cost will more than likely be less than someone who rents the largest box and holds more documents at the institution.

 

You should contact your insurance agent. The contents may not be covered by your institution or your insurance company. See what your insurance policy states if you have contents in any other place besides your home – you may be able to add the contents of your safe deposit box to the policy. If you have valuables such as jewelry, family heirlooms or old photographs, make sure to wrap them in plastic bags or something that cannot leak water. If the area your institution is located at is in a flood plain, it’s best to be prepared if it floods. 

 

It’s also important to make sure you can access your safe deposit box for things you may need to get before a trip or on a moment’s notice. Items that take a longer time to replace such as a birth certificate or family records definitely belong in a safe deposit box. Make sure you remember to add family members to your safe deposit box access – if you’re out of town and someone in your immediate family needs to gain access to a document that is stored in the box, the financial institution needs to know that your significant other or children are allowed to remove or take items.

 

There are plenty of items that don’t belong in your safe deposit box: food, beverages, original copies of medical care instructions or Power of Attorney documents. It’s always a good idea to keep copies of these documents in your safe deposit box, but it may be best to leave the originals with your lawyer. If you choose not to keep anything at your financial institution, you can consider purchasing a fireproof safe. But, before you do, make sure your home owners insurance covers the safe and its contents. The cost for a fireproof safe ranges, depending on the features you choose. It could be hundreds or even in the thousand-dollar price range. However, a fire proof safe can be easily stolen from your home and may only last a certain amount of time during a fire or flood.

 

In short, here’s a list of things to keep and a few things not to keep in your safe deposit box:

 

Keep:                                                                                   

·         A copy of your marriage certificate

·         A copy of your birth certificate

·         A copy of your passport

·         A copy of your college degree

·         A copy of your professional license(s)

·         A copy of separation/divorce papers

·         A copy of your social security card

·         A copy of your health information (vaccinations, hospitalization records)

·         Any deeds, titles, or title insurance to your home or vacation property, automobile

·         A videotape/DVD of all valuables in your home

·         A copy of big-ticket items in your home (save receipts)

·         A copy of home improvement receipts

·         Coins, jewelry or other family heirlooms

·         A copy of the original stock certificates and U.S. Savings Bonds

·         A copy of your employment contract

 

Don’t Keep:

·         Money/cash

·         Original will documents

·         Food and beverages

·         Power of Attorney documents

·         Living trust documents

·         Other trust documents

 

If you’re interested in a safe deposit box, call us at 404-325-3270, option 3, or stop by your nearest branch location.

 

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