Keep your valuables and personal papers safeWhen it comes to discussing finances, you don’t usually hear people bring up the topic of safe deposit boxes. But a safe deposit box is an important part of your financial wellbeing. In case you’re not familiar with what a safe deposit box is, it’s a secure, private storage box you can rent at your local bank.
By: By Joe Harrison, Superior Telegram
When it comes to discussing finances, you don’t usually hear people bring up the topic of safe deposit boxes. But a safe deposit box is an important part of your financial wellbeing. In case you’re not familiar with what a safe deposit box is, it’s a secure, private storage box you can rent at your local bank.
Not sure you know what you would store in a safe deposit box? The simple answer is anything that is of value to you or important documents that are best kept safe and in one location. In general, items include:
Important documents such as wills, power of attorney papers, passports, property deeds, insurance documents, birth certificates, etc.
Valuable items including expensive jewelry, coin collections, family heirlooms, etc.
Irreplaceable items like photos of your ancestors or a special item you want to hand down to your heirs.
Essentially, anything you don’t want to lose or misplace should go in the safe deposit box.
Many people keep their items in a box on a shelf in their home. It may work for holding all of your items in one place but, if you experience a fire, flood, tornado or burglary, it’s gone.
For those that own home safes, you may be thinking that a safe deposit box isn’t necessary.
Depending upon the type of safe, that may be the case. However, most home safes weigh less than 100 pounds, so they’re relatively easy to steal and many of them will not protect the items inside against a fire or flooding. Bank safe deposit boxes are securely constructed to withstand things like floods or fires and are securely located inside a bank’s vault that has layers of security protection surrounding it.
Another benefit is only you or someone you designate has access to your safe deposit box. It’s a good idea to designate one other person such as a spouse, child or power of attorney to have access to your box. In the event you need access to a document when you’re not able to get it yourself, such as if your injured in an accident.
Another benefit is safe deposit boxes come in varying sizes. It’s a good idea to visit with your banker to see which size fits your needs. If it’s just a few papers, a smaller box is likely all you’ll need. If you’re looking to store a lot of items, you may need a large box or rent multiple boxes.
Several things to keep in mind when using a safety deposit box include:
You do not have 24/7 access to the box. Because the boxes are inside a bank vault, access is limited to the time the bank is open. Plan ahead if know you need to have access to something stored in your box.
Only you have the key so it’s important not to lose it. If you lose it, you will have to pay the bank for a special locksmith to rekey it and that can be costly.
So how do you determine if a safe deposit box is a good idea for you?
Think of it this way, if you lost an item or document, would it be difficult or impossible to replace? If the answer is yes, then you probably want to store it in a safe deposit box. Talk with your banker; they would be happy to help you decide if a box is right for you and get you set up so you can be assured your documents are where you’ll always be able to find them.
Joe Harrison is the branch manager for Citizens Bank in Superior. For more information about Citizens Bank, visit www.citizensbanking.com.