Thinking Ahead: Keep Documents Safe in a Safety Deposit Box

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One of the ways I keep my important documents safe is by storing them in a safety deposit box at my local bank. For me, it is a security blanket in case anything ever happens to my home.

For my box, I pay an annual fee of $28, that is automatically deducted from my account in January.

There is a debate as to whether safety deposit boxes are worth it or not. For me, it is worth it, and that is why I am sharing it with you. To decide if right for you and your family, do your research, talk to your bank, and weigh the pros and cons of a safety deposit box.

What to put in your safety deposit box:

:: Marriage License
:: Birth and/or Death Certificates of family members
:: Valuables such as jewelry, baseball cards, coins,
:: Car Titles
:: The original copy of your Last Will and Testament
:: Savings Bonds
:: Life Insurance Policy(ies)
:: Adoption Records
:: Home Information: Insurance, Loan Agreement, Deed, etc
:: Social Security Cards
:: Copies of mine and my husband’s last wishes and funeral arrangements

These are just ideas; some of these items are in my safety deposit box, and others do not apply to me.

Always, always keep a copy of these items in a separate place, preferably in your home. This way, you can access the information without having to go to the bank.

I have certified copies of both my marriage license and our will. I prefer that the originals be kept safe in case something ever happens to my home. These certified copies are great to have on hand for needed information or until you can get the original.

As for our birth certificates, I have two copies for each of my girls; one resides in our home safe and the other in the safety deposit box.

Safety deposit boxes are not foolproof, and your contents may or may not be insured by your homeowners policy. You can read more about that in this article by MSN Money. Even after reading that article, I still feel the best place for my items is in my safety deposit box.

Some of the tips in that article are very helpful, though, including:

:: Take pictures of what is in your safety deposit box.
:: Keep a list of the items inside, too.
:: Store your items in a Ziploc bag inside a plastic container.

Other helpful articles:
:: Guide to Safety Deposit Boxes
:: Fire Safe or Safety Deposit Box by Bible Money Matters
:: Organizing Your Important Documents from DaveRamsey.com

What do/would you store in your safety deposit box?

Photo credit: Jason Bechtel

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