By Valerie Woodrum
VP, Montvale and Downtown Drive Branch Manager
NMLS # 662920
When you think safe deposit boxes, you might think about action films where the bad guy uses one to store fake passports, a gun and cash. But it’s the good guys like you who benefit from using a safe deposit box.
Safe deposit boxes provide a secure place to keep important items that would be difficult or impossible to replace. Items many people keep in safe deposit boxes include:
- Original insurance policies
- A video or pictures of home for insurance records
- Birth, marriage and death certificates
- Deeds, titles, mortgages, leases and other contracts
- Stocks, bonds and certificates of deposit
- Jewelry and other heirlooms or collectibles
- Old photo negatives or irreplaceable photos
Although you could keep these items at home, it’s difficult to find a closet, safe or file cabinet that’s resistant to theft, water and fire. Bank safe deposit boxes are manufactured to resist not only fire and water, but heat, earthquakes, hurricanes, explosions and other disasters. Also, check with your insurance company. Some give discounts for keeping specific valuables in a safe deposit box. Since nothing in your safe deposit box is insured by the bank, you definitely want to insure them even though they’re in a safe deposit box.
In addition to valuables, many people put documents in a safe deposit box that will be needed when they become mortally ill or die:
- Power of attorney forms
- Medical-care directives
- Funeral or burial instructions
To assure your family can get to these promptly, you should jointly rent your box. Note that giving someone else a key isn’t joint access! You need to include the individual on the bank’s rental contract to provide unrestricted access.
You can also appoint someone as an “agent,” giving them access to your safe deposit box until you revoke that access or die. An agent is appointed in the presence of a bank employee, assuring we know the agent.
All INB locations offer safe deposit boxes. For a complete list of prices, visit our website, or call any branch location.