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					      Q & A:
Safe Deposit Boxes
Q & A: Safe Deposit Boxes


If you’re not an international spy and you don’t have great wealth, do you need a safe
deposit box?


Once you learn the facts about safe deposit boxes, maybe you'll discover that you
really need one, or discover that you really don't. You might be surprised either way.


A safe deposit box is an inexpensive way to protect items that are important to you. If
your house was robbed or destroyed by a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or other
causes, would you lament the loss of certain items? If so, a safe deposit box might be
your perfect solution.


What should you put in there?


Experts suggest storing marriage and birth certificates, insurance policies, foreign
currency, deeds to property, rare coins, expensive jewelry, bonds, and stock
certificates. Precious metals are commonly stored in a safe deposit box as well.


A good rule to follow is:


If you would be in big trouble if an item were lost, then you should put it in a safe deposit
box.


So think about the likely suspects and consider what would be better off stored at
the bank instead of at home, such as:


      Your baseball card or stamp collection

      Your passport if you use it rarely


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     Family photos or copies, negatives or CDs of them

     Copies of family videos

     Copies of backup disks for your computer

     Heirloom jewelry passed down through your family


What should you not put in there?


   1. Cash.Cash is not insured in a safe deposit box, but it is insured in your bank
      account. If it's going to be in the bank anyway, you might as well put it where it
      will be insured against loss.



   2. Will. A will is about the worst thing to put in a safe deposit box. Should you die, it
      will likely take a court order to get it out. Keep a copy with your lawyer and a
      copy for your own records. You can put a copy in your safe deposit box, but not
      the only copy.



   3. Anything you need to access quickly.Banks aren't open 24/7 and anything
      you're likely to need on short notice might be better stored somewhere else.
      What if you need the item on a Sunday or after hours?


So a safe deposit box isn’t the answer to everything. Keep cash, your will, and
anything needed quickly somewhere else. A quality home safe might be a good
option for some items.


Who should have access?


That's really up to you. Anyone you designate can have access. Choose wisely. It
would be a good idea to designate someone to have power of attorney upon your
death as well. That way, at least someone can get into the box when the time comes.



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                                   It will make it easier on everyone.


                                   Be sure to remember that anyone you specify will have access to your valuables. Be
                                   careful whom you trust.


                                   What happens if something gets stolen?


                                   Be aware that the government (FDIC) does not insure any of the contents of safe
                                   deposit boxes; they insure bank accounts. Your bank might insure the contents, so be
                                   sure to read the agreement before signing up. The problem becomes, though, how do
                                   you prove what was in your box? Again, read the agreement before storing your
                                   valuables.


                                   Many homeowners' policies do cover the contents, however. Be sure to check with
                                   your insurance provider to see if you're covered and to what extent.


                                   Safe deposit boxes aren't for everyone. Sit down with your spouse and determine if
                                   you have anything that should be stored securely outside your home.


                                   Safe deposit boxes aren't extremely convenient, so keep that in mind. Most people
                                   probably don’t need a safe deposit box, but it is an excellent tool for those that truly have
                                   the need.




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