Safe deposit boxes are a secure way to store valuable items, important documents, and sentimental treasures. However, not everything belongs in a safe deposit box, and making the wrong choices can lead to regrets down the road. In this article, we’ll explore the eight things you’ll regret keeping in a safe deposit box and provide guidance on what you should consider storing elsewhere.
Original Copies of Essential Documents
While safe deposit boxes are excellent for safeguarding copies of important documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and wills, keeping the originals locked away can lead to difficulties when you need to access them quickly. Instead, opt to store originals in a fireproof home safe, along with digital backups, and provide trusted family members or legal representatives with access.
Storing cash in a safe deposit box might seem like a secure way to protect your money, but it can lead to complications. Safe deposit boxes are typically not insured, and the cash won’t generate interest. Consider keeping your emergency fund or savings accounts in a bank with deposit insurance for both protection and potential growth.
Power of Attorney Documents
Power of attorney documents grant someone the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. Storing these documents in a safe deposit box can create issues in emergency situations when access to the box is restricted. It’s advisable to keep these documents with a trusted individual who can readily act if needed.
Medical directives, including living wills and healthcare proxies, should be easily accessible to healthcare providers in the event of an emergency. Keeping them in a safe deposit box can delay crucial medical decisions. Share these documents with your healthcare team and provide copies to family members.
Jewelry You Wear Regularly
If you have jewelry that you wear frequently, it’s best to keep it at home or in a more accessible location. Retrieving items from a safe deposit box can be inconvenient, especially for pieces you use regularly.
Home and Car Keys
Storing your home or car keys in a safe deposit box might seem like an extra layer of security, but it can be problematic if you need quick access. Instead, have spare keys in a convenient, secure location at home in case of emergencies.
Digital Device Backups
While it’s essential to back up digital devices and store them securely, a safe deposit box isn’t the right place for these backups. Digital devices should be backed up to secure cloud storage or external hard drives, ensuring easy accessibility for data recovery.
Bills and Statements
Keeping utility bills, bank statements, and other financial documents in a safe deposit box can lead to frustration when you need them for everyday transactions or reference. It’s more practical to maintain digital records and keep a manageable paper filing system at home.
What to Keep in a Safe Deposit Box
Now that you know what not to store in a safe deposit box, let’s explore items that are well-suited for secure storage:
Valuable Collectibles: Valuable collectibles, such as rare coins, stamps, or antique items, can be safely stored in a safe deposit box.
Original Deeds and Titles: Original property deeds, vehicle titles, and mortgage documents should be kept in a safe deposit box to protect your homeownership and car assets.
Valuable Jewelry: Items of significant value, especially those you don’t wear regularly, are excellent candidates for safe deposit box storage.
Precious Metals: Gold, silver, and other precious metals or bullion can be safely kept in a safe deposit box.
Important Legal Documents: Copies of essential legal documents, like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, can be stored in a safe deposit box.
Digital Media Storage: Backup copies of digital media, including photos and videos, can be safely stored in a safe deposit box to protect your memories.
Rare Family Heirlooms: Sentimental family heirlooms that are not part of your daily life can be kept safe in a deposit box to preserve their value and memories.
Choosing what to store in a safe deposit box requires thoughtful consideration. Keeping items that you may need quick access to or regularly use at home or with a trusted individual is essential to prevent potential regrets. By ensuring the right balance between security and accessibility, you can make the most of your safe deposit box while avoiding future complications.