Tia M. Williams | Posted on Jan 01, 2017
Take advantage of the long winter months to inventory important documents and records, as well as to determine the best options available to keep them safe.
A safe deposit box is a good place for important items that would be costly, difficult or impossible to replace and that you won't need to access immediately. Examples include birth certificates, passports, property deeds, car titles, U.S. Savings Bonds and copies of wills. For guidance on where to store your original will and other original legal documents, consult your attorney. A safe deposit box is also a good place to store copies of identification cards, driver’s licenses, and copies of debit and credit cards.
Are you considering the purchase of a home safe? Unfortunately, a home safe is less secure than a safe deposit box, because a burglar could more easily break into your home, force you to open the safe, or haul off the entire safe than get inside your safe deposit box. And, not all home safes are fireproof or waterproof.
If you store valuables in your safe deposit box, remember that the bank does not insure them, and FDIC insurance is only applicable to deposit accounts. If you want insurance for the valuables, you need to purchase such insurance from your insurance agent.
As for what to do with cash, if it hasn’t been deposited into a federally insured deposit account, it isn’t protected by FDIC insurance!
Finally, as you explore options to keep your important documents and records safe, decide who you want to know about your safe deposit box and to access your personal and financial documents in an emergency, and then consult your attorney.
To learn more about using safe deposit boxes and home safes, visit www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnfall09/five_things.html.