Bank deposit boxes have been used for centuries as a method for keeping personal valuables safe. It makes perfect sense because banks offer incredible security that is hard to match at home; but, there are some downsides to deposit boxes and there are many items that are better kept in a home safe. Some of the drawbacks of bank deposit boxes include a lack of twenty four hour access and very limited space restrictions. Furthermore, bank deposit boxes require a yearly fee that can add up over time. While safe deposit boxes may be perfect for certain valuables there are many items that are better kept in a home safe. The bottom line here is ease of access that certain documents require for specific situations.
Keeping your will in a safe deposit box is an incredibly common mistake that will even further complicate the already unpleasant process of death. Safe deposit boxes may be sealed for weeks upon the death of its owner and require a complicated and sometimes expensive process to open. This process may even require a court order. For this reason, wills are best kept in a fireproof safeat home or in a fireproof safe in your attorney’s office.
2. Power of Attorney
Power of attorney should be stored in a home safe rather than a bank deposit box because it is a legal document that is required in certain situations in which the grantor becomes incapacitated and may not have access to their bank deposit box. Similar to the will this document can be time-sensitive and potentially inaccessible if stored in a bank deposit box.
3. List of Assets
This is one item that would be okay to store in a safe deposit box besides the fact that it should be regularly updated. This should include paper records as well as the list of pin numbers and online passwords that you use to keep your financial affairs in order.
4. Final Arrangement Instructions
It is important to keep a set of written instructions in case of the unfortunate event of your own death. These instructions should include a list of people to contact as well as burial wishes and advanced medical arrangements. If you wish to donate your organs upon death the permission to do so may not be attainable in time should you keep this document in your safe deposit box. Many of the above listed items to be kept in a home safe hinge upon the inability to access a safe deposit box upon death. For this reason alone a fireproof home safe should be imperative. Though, another thing to keep in mind is retaining multiple copies of important documents. This will minimize the damage should one set be destroyed or damaged. Banks may offer incredible security but nobody is immune to the unforeseen and even bank deposit boxes can suffer damage and losses in extreme scenarios.