Document Storage

Some information to consider when you purchase a safe deposit box or home safe in which to store legal documents and other important papers.

Safe Deposit Box

  • The cost for the box depends on its size.
  • You will pay an original deposit for the keys.
  • You should always have a current box inventory in a separate file.
  • Tell trusted family member(s) or individual(s) the number and location of the box and keys.
  • Keep multiple box keys in different places.
  • The company is only responsible for safeguarding the box, not the contents.
  • Look into homeowner insurance to insure the box contents. Riders to insurance policies may also help to cover certain items in the box.
  • Different types of renting agreements exist, including “individual access” where all names on the box have individual access to it, or “joint access” where all renters must be present to open the box.
  • Only the individual(s) whose name(s) the box is rented under have access to the box.
  • To give another individual access to the box while you are still alive use “appointment of deputy.” It can be revoked any time and only works if renter is alive.

Home Safe

  • Can be fire resistant, theft resistant, or both fire and theft resistant.
  • For a fire resistant safe: Look for the Underwriters Laboratory rating tag on the safe before you buy it. It will give you information on the length of time the safe contents will remain undamaged in a fire. Fire resistant safes should withstand heat of 1,700 F for at least an hour.
  • For a theft resistant safe: Look for the rating of how long it would take a professional burglar to open the safe. Relockers, hard plates, and thick metal guard against theft in these types of safes.

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