items should go into a safe deposit box?
Any personal items that would cause you to say, "If
I lose this, I am in deep trouble." Important papers to
consider putting into your safe deposit box: originals of
your insurance policies; family records such as birth, marriage
and death certificates; original deeds, titles, mortgages,
leases and other contracts; stocks, bonds and certificates
of deposit (CDs). Other valuables worthy of a spot in your
safe deposit box include special jewels, medals, rare stamps
and other collectibles, negatives for irreplaceable photos,
and videos or pictures of your home's contents for insurance
purposes (in case of theft or damage).
what should NOT go in a safe deposit box?
Anything you might need in an emergency, in case your
bank is closed for the night, the weekend or a holiday.
Possible examples: originals of a "power of attorney" (your
written authorization for another person to transact business
on your behalf), passports (in case of an emergency trip),
medical-care directives if you become ill and incapacitated,
and funeral or burial instructions you make. Consider giving
the originals to your attorney, and making copies to go
in your safe deposit box or to give a close friend or relative.
I have a will, should it go in my safe deposit box?
Whether your will should be at the bank or elsewhere,
such as with your attorney, depends on what your State law
says about who has access to your safe deposit box when
you die. Ideally, the person you name to oversee your financial
matters after you die (your "executor" or "personal representative")
should have early access to your original will (copies are
not valid). Some States make it relatively easy for co-renters,
family members or the executor to remove the will and certain
other documents (such as life insurance policies and burial
instructions) from a deceased person's safe deposit box.
In those States, it may be a good idea to leave your will
in the safe deposit box. But other States may require a
court order or another official action to remove the will,
which can take time and money. That is why you should check
with a bank official (or your lawyer) to find out what is
required under State law and your bank's own policies in
the event of your death.