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Do I Need a Safety Deposit Box?

by Scott Antritt

Do_I_need_a_Safety_Deposit_BoxKeeping your most precious items and financial documents safe and secure should always be a priority for a family’s financial manager. While you may be tempted to keep your items close to you at home or in a personal safe, there is one location that provides the assurance you need to keep your information secure throughout your life: a safety deposit box.

A safety deposit box is essentially a rented, small to medium-sized safe that are sealed and protected inside a bank, post office, or other secure location’s vault. To access most safety deposit boxes, the owner must present a unique key, personal identification number (PIN), or code as well as designate those who are able to access the box. Because of the security measures associated safety deposit boxes, they have quickly become the best option to protect financial documents, family heirlooms, and other important information.

How Do I Know If I Need A Safety Deposit Box?

Before signing on the bottom line, it is best to evaluate what your personal needs are in regards to items and documents. If you have a lot of valuables that are not used frequently (for example an expensive piece of jewelry or a collection of rare stamps), the safety deposit box is an excellent choice comparatively. While many would prefer to have these items nearby for quick access, the safer and smarter way to keep items away from unexpected damages or a potential theft is to keep the items in one of the safest places in the world: a public vault.

Not all safety deposit boxes contain expensive jewels or priceless keepsakes. Many choose to use safety deposit boxes to protect financial documents such as mortgage information, life insurance policies, and certificates of deposit. These items need the same level of protection as the heirlooms, and a safety deposit box allows for the peace of mind.

Another reason to have a safety deposit box is to keep these materials in one place. If an accident occurred or your family would need to access financial information quickly, a safety deposit box saves you and your family time from sorting through documents or struggling to find needles in a haystack of sort.

We recommend organizing the materials with clear labels and to frequently visit the paperwork to ensure it is up to date. We also advise those with safety deposit boxes to make copies to keep at home, with a financial advisor or trustee in case the document needs to be visited immediately. And finally, we suggest including a workbook like our “Everything Your Family Needs to Know… And Where to Find It” in the safety deposit box so that if something were to be lost or missing, family members or financial managers would still be able to access the necessary information.  

The Decision

The decision to get a safety deposit box should be based upon what your personal needs are. Whether you are in search of a place to store your expensive or rare items or you want more than the limited security of a home safe, a safety deposit box can provide the peace of mind needed to ensure that your documents, items, and records are kept safe and secure for many years.  


About Caldwell Trust Company

Caldwell Trust Company is an independent trust company with offices in Venice and Sarasota, Florida. Established in 1993, the firm currently manages over $850 million in assets for clients throughout the United States. The company offers a full range of fiduciary services to individuals, including services as trustee, custodian, investment adviser, financial manager and personal representative. Additionally, Caldwell manages 401(k) and 403(b) qualified retirement plans for employers.

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