Most of us keep valuables at home that we cannot afford to lose. Some of those valuables are personal family heirlooms, things of monetary value, and important documents that need to be kept handy but do not need to be accessed often. Unfortunately, most of us have also gone through the pain of misplacing such items or even worse, having those items stolen, damaged, or misplaced and lost forever.
Storing one's most important and sensitive possessions outside of the home provides several layers of protection and is an excellent way to guarantee that said items do not become lost, stolen, or damaged in an unforeseen event. When items of importance are stored in a Safe Deposit Box the owner always knows where to find them and can be confident, they are always safe and, if you find the right facility, they are also insured.
Below are items that we all have that we suggest storing in a safe deposit box and why.
1) Secret Stash – Safe boxes are a great place to hide a little money for a just-in-case situation. Hiding money in clever places around the home could be risky, especially if you forget where it has been hidden, or, forgot you even hid it at all!
2) Will/Estate Documents – Many elderly Safe Deposit Box owners inform their grown children that all their information is stored in their safe deposit box and they add the children to the box. If something should happen to the elderly parents, the children know exactly where to go to retrieve the pertinent information to sort out their parent’s estate. Ask your facility about how they manage beneficiaries, it should be very simple and quick to access the safe deposit box of a loved one.
3) Passports – Passports are items that are not the quickest to replace and if you realize you have misplaced it at the exact moment you need it you may find yourself in a tight spot. Storing a passport in a safe box will keep it safe, you’ll know where to find it, and, if you find a facility open on the weekend you should have no problem accessing it when needed. Before renting a Safe Deposit Box make sure your facility is open on the weekend. If you are looking at a bank then chances are, they are not open on the weekend, if you are shopping for a private facility, weekend access should be available.
4) Title and Deeds – These are items that you will likely not need access to often, but they are not easily replaced and need to be kept handy. Storing these in a safe deposit box away from the home is a great way to keep them safe and make sure you will have access when you do need them.
5) Gold and Silver – Gold and Silver are some of the most valuable precious metals out there and like cash, if they are stolen you will not get them back. Over 93% of items stolen from home are never returned and not many of us can afford to replace these types of valuables. Gold and silver should absolutely be stored in a safe deposit box and if you like, you can even insure that box for the exact amount of the gold and silver inside, and, you may increase that insurance as you build your reserve. Make sure your Safe Deposit Box facility offers insurance coverage. Banks do not offer insurance, however, a solid private facility will.
6) Jewelry – Granted, jewelry should be covered under your renters or homeowner’s insurance but give a closer look at your policy and see what percentage of that value you get back if something should happen to it. At a private facility that offers insurance, you can insure your jewelry for the exact amount it is worth and should something happen, that is the exact amount you will receive from an insurance claim. Jewelry stored in a safe box will never be lost and never be stolen.
7) Bond Certificate and Paper Stock – Some bonds, like cash, represent monetary value and if lost, the one who found them is now the new owner. Storing these at home is risky as the chances for theft, damage, and loss are much higher than in a safe deposit box. These items also rarely need to be accessed so we suggest you park them in the safest place possible until you need to access them.
8) Personal Papers/Hard Drives – Everyone has sensitive personal data be it health records, financial records, or personal hobbies that we may prefer to keep to ourselves. Safe Deposit Boxes are a great option for keeping these records confidential as only the person with access to the safe box could ever access such information.
9) Birth, Marriage, Death, and Divorce Certificates, SS Cards – These items rarely need to be accessed; however, they are difficult, time-consuming, and sometimes expensive to replace. Safe Deposit Boxes are a great place to store these documents.
10) Family photo, heirlooms – Family keepsakes and items passed down from generation to generation is how some families build a wealth of memories alive of their ancestors. Keeping these around the house leaves you vulnerable to damage, theft, or just plain misplacing them. Locking them up safe and sound in a Safe Deposit Box is an excellent way to guarantee the memories and stories make it to another generation.
We hope this will help you protect yourself from unforeseen events that cost you money and heartache. Something I always say is “guarantee the win,” don’t gamble by keeping your most important items hidden in your home, store them safely and securely in a Safe Deposit Box.
Brandon S & Sandeep T