We get this question a lot – is an in-home safe better than a safety deposit box at a bank? Well…this is a tricky question to answer because one solution is not necessarily better than another. In fact, the answer to this question is almost always subjective. I’ll roll out the pros and cons of each solution and then each of you should be able to better answer the question yourself. A safety deposit box at a bank is great because it is fireproof, waterproof, not in your home (and thus cannot be taken from your home), under super tight bank security, and its contents are legally protected in case of death.
On the other hand, a safety deposit box isn’t perfect because it’s not available when the bank isn’t open, it is easy to lose your key to your box, there is an annual fee associated with keeping the box that can be quite expensive, there may be issues accessing the box in case of the owner’s death because legally the estate has to close before anyone has access to it. An In-home safe is great because it is locked, can be both fireproof and waterproof depending on the type of safe you purchase, it’s accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when it is properly mounted to the floor or if you’ve installed an in-floor safe, it’s difficult to run of with, and it’s a one time expense that doesn’t require a monthly or yearly expense. On the other hand, the fire and waterproof ratings are never as good as the ratings of safety deposit boxes, if a natural disaster destroys your home, it will likely also destroy the box and all the stuff therein.
If you have very specific needs, you can choose one or the other option. Many of our clients end up choosing both – a safe at home for everything you might need at a moment’s notice (birth certificates, marriage licenses and whatnot) and a safety deposit box for those things that need extra protection and don’t need to be accessible right away (like a backup copy of important pictures). Does this help you? Have you made this decision lately?