Safe Deposit Box Contents: What should definitely be in there?
Get these, or at least a copy of these, into a safe deposit box:
Titles for Car, Home, Property
Marriage & Birth Certificates
Originals of Wills & Trusts
A list of Rx medications
Social Security Cards
Copies of current utilities bills*
Copies of Driver's Licenses
Stocks and Bonds
A List of Accounts
A List of User Names & Passwords
A Household Inventory & Photos
Any other irreplaceable items of value
Take your choice, but take care of protecting the essentials.
1. The crime of "identity theft" has become so commonplace that home and office burglaries often target your personal information as much as your other valuables.
2. Evacuations on account of fires, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can force you out of your dwelling on little or short notice, exposing the dwelling's contents to looting, or simply causing important and precious materials to become accessible to strangers.
3. The cost of protecting precious items and information is small compared to the hazards of their loss or exposure to the wrong parties.
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Who should have access?
If you need daily access to some items you would prefer to have in your safe deposit box, you may need to keep a copy at home, but be reluctant to keep any copies elsewhere, such as on your person, or at your work. Purses get lost, wallets get stolen, and you want to limit what might be lost, if that were to happen....and it might.
For business reasons you may need other associates to have access to a safe deposit box you rent solely for key business records and documents. If you have such a box, don't keep personal items in the box where others could have access to them.
For personal items (such as those in the list above) it may be important for your spouse to also be able to have access to a shared box, or else a box of their own.
In the event of a death
In many states access to safe deposit boxes following the box owner's death is governed by specific laws as to who, when, and under what circumstances the box can be accessed. Get that information from the bank where your safe deposit box will be located, and be sure those provisions are ones you can accept for any items which will be placed in the box.
* Being able to establish your current residency might take more than your ID or Driver's License. Having a recent utilities bill in your own name might be that added verification, to the extent that one law firm suggests that each adult in the home have their own utility bill! Being able to quickly regain access to your property may mean avoiding some identity theft risks and outright thefts of valuables, as well as being able to avoid fraud connected with available emergency loans!
Copyright 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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