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Tips and hints about safe deposit boxes

Submitted by Richard

Keep all valuable or hard-to-replace documents in a safe-deposit box: birth, adoption, marriage, divorce and death certificates; property deeds; vehicle registration documents; stock, bond or savings certificates; a copy of your will; a household inventory; and all insurance policies. Keep a list of the box's contents at home.

You can deposit your own box with your bank on payment of a fee and they will look after it for you. You keep the key - the bank will not have one. Some banks offer special safety deposit facilities where you rent one of their boxes in a purpose-built vault. But this costs a lot more. You have one key and the bank has another - both are needed to open the box. If you lose your key you may have to pay a hefty fee to have the lock drilled open - but the bank will need positive proof that it is your box.

Check your householder's policy to see if it covers the contents of your safe-deposit box, or ask the bank if it offers insurance.

When a box renter dies, the bank will only allow the box to be opened by a person who proves that he has proper authority, which will usually be the executor or administrator of the estate. A copy of the death certificate and proof of identity is required.

This tip has 7 comments shown below

how moch
Comments by: ward l from birmingham uk Feb 20, 2011
hi can you ples tell me how moch it cost to open a sd box cos am thinking off geting one and wich is the best banks to get the best ones at and do the bankers no wot you put in it are you aloud to hould large amonts off money in thair thanks

Comments by: Mark D from London Feb 15, 2011
Dear Tipking, Can UK creditors ie banks gain access to my
safe deposit box if i owe them money ( not the bank I have the safe deposiy box with ) ? Can you advise ? Thanks.

Tipking says: I do not know the answer to this but if you do not tell them then they would not know

saving money
Comments by: Ebradley from usa Mar 04, 2010
what do you think about saving a large sum of money in a safe deposit box

TipKing saya: If you were using paper money you would have to make sure that it never became out of date

Finding bank after sudden death of renter.
Comments by: Maureen F from Manchester England Dec 17, 2009
A friend of mine who died suddenly had previously told me that he had left me the contents of his SD box,he said he had spoken to a solicitor but did not tell me the solicitors name or number. I dont know his family and I am not sure if it was included in his will.I would hate to think it was just sitting there; could you advise me please. At the time of his death he was married with three adult children, I do not want to cause his family any more distress than is possible... yours sincerely..Maureen F.

TipKing says: If I were you I would speak to a solicitor of your own, they may be able to trace the probate, or speak to citizens advice. Sorry not to have been more help.

Comments by: Jinniet from UK Apr 11, 2009
I have found a safety deposit key among the effects of my late uncle. How do I find out which bank it is from?

death of renter
Comments by: stewart roberts from england uk Mar 18, 2009
thanx for the tip on death of renter as my father is thinking of opening one and is worried about dying and the box being unable to be picked up this has put his mind at rest

Uk Safe Deposit Services In the East Midlands are Fantastic.
Comments by: Dr P King from Nottingham England Jan 29, 2009
I have several Boxes and they issue Id cards, Proper Contracts, and they have a great secure system.

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