First, let’s get something out of the way: it’s “safe” deposit box. If you call it “safety” deposit box, you’ll make me cringe a little on the inside.*
So, do you like that feeling you have when you know you’re doing something right? Get ready to have that feeling with the Safe Deposit Box Trick.
You’ve made a will or other estate documents (Right? Right?) and now you have to store them. You’ve got a few places you can put them. I, personally, decided to put my documents in my safe deposit box. Now we have a problem.
What’s the problem? If you die (depending on bank policy), your survivors will need to wait until a tax agent shows up to supervise the opening of the box, or a court order is presented to the bank. Both of these take a while to happen. What to do?
Take the easy way out. Put the name of a trusted individual on the safe deposit box lease. How trusted should this individual be? You need to trust them entirely. We’re talking about a power of attorney level of trust. I chose to put both of my parents on the lease. Now, should anything happen to me, they can retrieve the box key from my apartment and pop the box right open. No muss, no fuss.
Of course, you’ll want to talk to your banker about their policies and procedures to verify that this strategy will work. What works for me at my bank may not work for you at your bank.
Don’t forget to let me know how this works out for you in the comments…
* I’m not saying the term “safety” is wrong, I’m saying that the term “safety deposit box” is awful. It’s awful like spiders. Click here for a brief explanation.