Estate Planning with Safety Deposit Box

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Once you’ve gone through your estate planning, you’ve likely become aware of what valuables you have. With many of them, such as jewelry, it probably makes sense to keep them in your home so you can access them whenever you would like. In other cases, though, it may make more sense to secure your valuables in a safe deposit box at the bank.



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In other cases, though, it may make more sense to secure your valuables in a safe deposit box at the bank.
The types of items you may want to keep in a safe deposit box can vary, but here are some common ones:

• Birth certificates
• Marriage certificates
• Social Security card
• A copy of your will
• Copies of degrees and professional licenses
• Copies of divorce or separation papers
• Military records
• Deeds, titles, and insurance for real estate
• Deeds, title, and insurance for vehicles
• Valuable assets you don’t need to access to such as jewelry, coins, guns, etc.
• Stock certificates and bonds; and
• Business documents

Now for obvious reasons, if you choose to use a safe deposit box, you’ll want to take steps to ensure access is extremely limited.
For example, you may set things up so that anyone you authorize to access your box must show proper ID and a signature card when accompanying you to the bank.
You can also work with your estate planning attorney to name someone in your trust who can only access your safe deposit box in the event of your death or incapacity.
If you choose the latter option, it’s a good idea to talk to your attorney about what valuables or important documents will be stored there.
As you can imagine, there are some documents that will need to be accessed immediately if you should become incapacitated or deceased such as medical directives or documents relating to guardians named for your minor children.
Because it can take some time to obtain these things from a safe deposit box, an alternate plan needs to be in place.
Again, your attorney will be able to offer insights into how best to make these documents accessible at the right times and to the appropriate people.

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