Safety deposit boxes can seem like a thing of the past. Many people associate this kind of storage method with their parents or grandparents. This is not entirely the case, however. There are some really important reasons to store specific items in a safety deposit box in Pennsylvania. If you have any of these items and you are not storing them in a safe manner, you need to reconsider using a safety deposit box for their safekeeping.
What to Store in a Safety Deposit Box
Safety deposit boxes are really affordable and they are actually much easier to access than people might think. You will find that your bank will make it very simple to access the box when you need to do so and this storage option also offers you the chance to allow other people to have permission to access the box as well. This is one of the best ways to make sure that other people can get to important documents and other items if something should happen to you.
1. Family Documents
You should be wary of keeping things like your birth certificate, your social security card, marriage licenses, or passports in a simple file cabinet in your home. These items could be stolen, lost, misplaced, or even burned up if you should be unlucky enough to have a house fire. You should make sure that all of the documents that you have of this nature are safe and secure, even if they are your child’s documents, or your spouse’s.
Family documents are hard to replace and there is quite a process to get a new birth certificate, a new social security card, or even a new passport. You will be better off taking a small trip to the bank to get these documents when you need them for something than losing them somehow in your home just because you want to have them on hand.
2. Mortgage and Property Documents
All of your documents that are related to any properties that you own should be stored in your security deposit box as well. These documents can take up a lot of space, which can make it seem like there is no reason to pay for a large enough box for these documents. However, having proof that you own a property or are paying for a property with a loan can be very important, particularly if something should happen to you.
Mortgage and property documents are perhaps easier to replace than personal documents, but this is still an item that is a lot of work to replace.
3. Stocks, Bonds, Physical Items
These are probably the things that you think of first when you are considering getting a safety deposit box. If you should have stocks, bonds, or things like jewelry or valuables that you don’t want to be loose and accessible to anyone in your house, you should consider putting these items into a safety deposit box. While you don’t want to put any items in your deposit box that you need to access consistently, you should make sure that valuables that you think could be at risk are placed in this kind of safe situation.
Stocks and bonds as well as family heirlooms are often the kinds of items that you can lose or that can go missing when they are not properly stored. You will want to make sure that you think about this carefully, particularly if you live in an area that has a high crime rate, or if you live with roommates who might bring over other people who could steal from you.
What Should NOT Be Placed in a Security Deposit Box
Any item that you need to access in an emergency should not be placed in a security deposit box, and there are certain items that are forbidden to be placed in these boxes per federal banking laws. Your bank will be able to tell you which things cannot be placed in your box and you should not ignore their warnings and do so anyway. There are severe punishments for those who use security deposit boxes in a way that is forbidden by law and you need to be aware of this limitation before you decide to store certain items in your box.
At Antanavage Farbiarz, we offer expert estate planning services of various kinds for your unique needs. Our teams of skilled lawyers can work with you on all aspects of the estate planning process and on different kinds of estate and trust plans. We also help clients to make donations through wills, trusts, gifts, and other methods as well. If you are ready to discuss your will and estate planning concerns, call us at (610) 562-2000 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.