A safe deposit box can be a secure and convenient place to store your valuable possessions. However, not everything belongs in a safe deposit box, and there are certain items that you may come to regret keeping locked away. In this article, we will explore some common items that you should think twice about before placing them in a safe deposit box. Let’s dive in!
1. Original Documents
While it may seem logical to keep original documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and property deeds in a safe deposit box, it’s important to consider accessibility. These documents may be needed for various legal and administrative purposes, and retrieving them from a safe deposit box can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Instead, opt for high-quality copies and keep the originals in a secure yet easily accessible location, like a fireproof home safe.
2. Cash and Currency
Storing large amounts of cash or currency in a safe deposit box can be tempting due to its secure nature. However, it’s essential to consider inflation and changing financial systems. Over time, the value of cash can erode due to inflation, and currency may become obsolete. It’s generally wiser to invest surplus funds or deposit them in interest-bearing accounts to preserve their value and potentially earn returns.
3. Irreplaceable or Frequently Used Items
Safe deposit boxes are great for storing items of high value, but if an item is irreplaceable or frequently used, keeping it locked away may cause unnecessary stress and inconvenience. Family heirlooms, sentimental jewelry, or important items you use frequently, like a passport, should be kept somewhere more accessible, allowing you to enjoy and use them when needed. A home safe or a secure location in your home can be a better option for these items.
4. Digital Assets and Passwords
In today’s digital age, it’s crucial to consider your online assets when deciding what to store in a safe deposit box. Items such as digital backups, passwords, and encryption keys should not be stored solely in a safe deposit box. Instead, maintain secure digital copies and ensure that your loved ones or trusted individuals have access to them in case of an emergency. Consider using secure password managers or encrypted storage solutions to safeguard your digital assets.
5. Estate Planning Documents
Estate planning documents, such as wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents, are important legal papers that should be easily accessible when needed. Placing these documents solely in a safe deposit box may create challenges for your loved ones in case of your incapacitation or death. Inform your trusted family members or legal representatives about the location of these documents and keep copies at home or with your attorney to ensure they can be accessed promptly.
6. Expiring Items and Certificates
It’s easy to overlook the expiration dates on various items and certificates, but storing them in a safe deposit box can cause issues. Items like passports, driver’s licenses, credit cards, or certificates with limited validity should be kept in a place where you can regularly review and update them. Placing them in a safe deposit box may lead to unexpected inconveniences and delays when you need to renew or replace them.
In conclusion, while a safe deposit box provides excellent security for certain items, it’s important to carefully consider what you choose to store in it. Accessibility, the potential for obsolescence, and the importance of regular use should guide your decision-making process. Remember to balance security with convenience and think twice before locking away items that you may later regret not having easily accessible.