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gordoco

join:2004-06-05
Boulder, CO
reply to signmeuptoo

Re: How do safe deposit boxes work?

I pay $25/year for my safe deposit box at a local bank, deducted automatically from my checking account once per year. I think I'm getting a 25-50% discount for being a long term customer of the bank.

When I want access I have to sign a sheet, and they verify my signature against the one on file when I initially acquired the box before allowing access. I have a key, the bank has a key, and the box can only be opened if both keys are used.

Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1
reply to Bob4
said by Bob4:

It's highly recommended that you keep important papers (e.g., deeds, wills, automobile titles, birth certificates, naturalization certificates) in a safe deposit box.

Our lawyer does not recommend keeping wills in a safe deposit box. One's demise will usually cause the safe deposit box to be sealed for some period of time, which would mean that the will is not accessible to whomever one has designated as executor. Our lawyer recommended getting one of the fireproof boxes for wills, living wills, power of attorney's, etc. and keeping them in the fireproof box.


Insight6

join:2012-08-25
reply to signmeuptoo
I can't speak to all cities and states but can say with confidence that commonly if you don't currently have a safety deposit box good luck trying to get one. The demand at banks are dramatically higher than the supply. Wait lists of many years are common. Plus even finding a specific bank branch can in many cases be impossible. For instance Wells Fargo Bank does not in any way have available a data base or source that can tell you whether or not a particular branch actually physically has safety deposit boxes. (Most don't anyway.) The ONLY way is to call branch by branch to find out. Also, as banks expand or alter their business model they are getting away from adding any new boxes to their all ready thin supply.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to Austinloop
said by Austinloop:

One's demise will usually cause the safe deposit box to be sealed for some period of time,

Not in New Jersey. The executor is allow to retrieve wills and life insurance policies.

You can also add a second (or third) name to the box and access it after death.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to Insight6
Never had a problem getting a safe deposit box in New Jersey. We have multiple banks on practically every corner. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a bank around here.


Insight6

join:2012-08-25
said by Bob4:

Never had a problem getting a safe deposit box in New Jersey. We have multiple banks on practically every corner. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a bank around here.

Yes BUT do all of them have safety deposit boxes? Do the ones that have safety deposit boxes, not all branches do, have boxes that haven't been rented and therefore are available or is their a long waiting list?

As stated in most areas in the US they aren't functionally available.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Every branch I've ever been in has safe deposit boxes. They may be sold out of a particular size, but I've always found at least one size to be available.

We have a lot of banks here. Hell, I have 4 within walking distance! We don't have that many drugstores or supermarkets. I think my mother's town has 7 or 9 banks, and they probably all have safe deposit boxes.

Safe deposit boxes are pure profit for the bank. My bank gives a $7.50 discount on the first year rental fee.

Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1
reply to Bob4
said by Bob4:

said by Austinloop:

One's demise will usually cause the safe deposit box to be sealed for some period of time,

Not in New Jersey. The executor is allow to retrieve wills and life insurance policies.

You can also add a second (or third) name to the box and access it after death.

That is one state out of 50 (or is it 57). I think I will take my lawyer's advice.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
If your lawyer says the box will be sealed, you need to get a new lawyer.
See - »www.statutes.legis.state ··· .htm#36D

Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1
said by Bob4:

If your lawyer says the box will be sealed, you need to get a new lawyer.
See - »www.statutes.legis.state ··· .htm#36D

No, thanks. I honestly don't remember if she said any thing about the sealing, but she did recommend the fire proof box.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
You could end up like this guy - »Need help with an old safe


whatevrzclvr

join:2005-11-16
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
reply to signmeuptoo
You absolutely can neglect a safe deposit box for years - decades even.

Typically you leave a deposit with the bank to cover the cost of the keys, which you get back when you eventually relinquish the box back to your bank.

Most banks will charge a yearly fee, which, depending on the size of the box and the bank, can be quite reasonable. Most banks will also discount the box depending on the relationship you have - for instance, meeting a balance requirement or having a mortgage with the bank. Every institution has their own rules.

My bank gives me a small box for free as long as I maintain a mortgage with them - yet I haven't been to my box in a couple years - the documents I store there aren't something I need access to with any regularity. When my grandmother passed away, we found that she'd had a box that her bank had charged her something like $20/year for - it just came right out of her account each fall. We estimate that she hadn't been in the box since the mid 70s.

So to answer your question, given the relative low cost, it is absolutely possible and reasonable that a safe deposit box would go unvisited for years.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
I haven't encountered a bank that charges a deposit for the keys. They will charge a fee (say $50) if you lose one key, and even more (say, $150 or more) if you lose both keys and they need to drill the lock.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to signmeuptoo
said by signmeuptoo:

Guys, I am just wondering, I have nothing to put in such a box, nothing so valuable.

You don't own a car? Put the car title there, if you do. You don't have any jewelry or old coins from your Grandparents or Great-Grandparents? Put that there, if you do. You don't have an award letter from SSDI or SSI? Put that there if you do.

Anything that you own of any value that you cannot replace, you can put there if it fits.

You can get a 5 or 10 year rental rate on boxes and pre-pay for it, or inquire about a lifetime rate that you can pre-pay also.

Anything goes in a safe-deposit box
By Laura Bruce • Bankrate.com
»www.bankrate.com/brm/new ··· 023a.asp
quote:
Safe deposit do's and don'ts
So what should you keep in a safe-deposit box?

Jewelry and important papers are probably the most common items. Originals of birth, marriage and death certificates, deeds, vehicle titles, stock certificates, bonds, valuable collectibles, and insurance photos of the contents of your home are some of the things that should be in a safe-deposit box.

Things, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says, you'd be in big trouble if you lost.

What shouldn't go in the box are things you would need in an emergency -- a will, a living will, originals of a "power of attorney" authorization.

Take time to read the bank's lease agreement when you rent a safe-deposit box. If you want the contents insured, check with an insurance agent to find the appropriate coverage.

Loss of safe-deposit box contents from theft, fire or flood is very rare, but it does happen. If you're concerned about it, you may want to consider insuring some items such as jewelry, coins or stamps.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to Hayward
said by Hayward:

But you don't pay they can't just confiscate it either.

It not paid, then whoever would have to pay the back fees, and then there would definitely be all kinds of questions, mandated for ID besides just having the Key

Wrong. If not paid it is just like a storage locker and the contents are sold if you don't respond when they try to contact you depending on State Laws. Then the money goes to the State (like in Florida where you live) for use by the public school system.

»www.bankrate.com/brm/new ··· 23a2.asp
quote:
Better pay the rent
Many banks automatically deduct the annual safe-deposit box rental fee from your account, but if yours doesn't or if you don't have an account with the bank and you forget to pay the bill, the rules vary from state to state about what happens to the contents.

In Florida, for example, if the rent is three months past due, the bank sends registered mail to the last known address saying the box will be opened if the owner doesn't respond within 30 days.

The contents are then inventoried and stored for three years. If the contents are still unclaimed, they're sent to the state as unclaimed property.

The state also tries to contact the owner. If no one responds, the items are sold at auction and the money is put in the state's school trust fund for use by the public school system. A record of the proceeds, minus storage fees, is kept in the owner's name. The owner, or his or her heirs, can claim the proceeds at any time. There is no statute of limitations.

--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to lew_b
said by lew_b:

The paperwork could eventually be replaced I suppose, but I would be heartbroken if anything ever happened to my mother's old jewelry.

You do have the SDB contents insured for loss due to fire, theft or flood, right? If not you should consider that as something to get done ASAHP so you don't have a non-covered loss.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to Bob4
said by Bob4:

We have a lot of banks here. Hell, I have 4 within walking distance!

I just realized we have five (5) banks within walking distance. I forgot about one; They tore down a gas station and built a bank.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
reply to signmeuptoo
I pay about $110/yr for an 8.5"x20" box, or something close to that. Bank has one key, you have another. Takes both to open the box. You can authorize other people to have a key. All they needed from me was my driver's license to setup.


jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL
reply to Doctor Olds
said by Doctor Olds:

quote:
So what should you keep in a safe-deposit box?

That's easy. Gun, ammo, 6 or more fake passports from other countries, at least $250K in various denominations and currencies, a scrap of paper with seemingly random numbers written on it, and a nondescript key that might be for a locker at an unspecified airport or train station (do those lockers even exist any more?)


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1
reply to Doctor Olds
said by Doctor Olds:

In Florida, for example, if the rent is three months past due, the bank sends registered mail to the last known address saying the box will be opened if the owner doesn't respond within 30 days.

The contents are then inventoried and stored for three years. If the contents are still unclaimed, they're sent to the state as unclaimed property.

The state also tries to contact the owner. If no one responds, the items are sold at auction and the money is put in the state's school trust fund for use by the public school system. A record of the proceeds, minus storage fees, is kept in the owner's name. The owner, or his or her heirs, can claim the proceeds at any time. There is no statute of limitations.


Well I was thinking more the short term.... you haven't paid attention for three years (And I believe the state has to wait as long after its sent to them) then likely there was nothing of real value in there, or you're dead, and no family, executor, or beneficiaries have come looking.
--



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to jester121
said by jester121:

said by Doctor Olds:

quote:
So what should you keep in a safe-deposit box?

That's easy. Gun, ammo, 6

You quoted the article I posted, not what I typed.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Nags Head, NC
kudos:1
reply to bigred44
Another good thing to keep in there besides the stuff already mentioned is an encrypted image copy of your hard drives along with a CD-R to restore them in case of disaster. If you have anything you'd be damaged by losing on your hard drive, you should have at least one copy of it off-site from your primary location, be that home or office. I work out of the home, so I back up the main home computer to a hard drive in the computer every 20 minutes, another hidden in the house that's no more than one month old, and another in the safe deposit box that's no more than four months old. Protects photo, audio and video files, financial records, and such.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
reply to signmeuptoo
One of the most important items in our safe box is a print out of login/passwords for all the important stuff online. Mortage, bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance, credit cards, utilities, etc. Another important item is a re-writable DVD master copy of all our digital pictures. If the house burns down or something we can replace the pictures this way. We keep the 'typical' stuff in the box as well like car titles, mortgage paperwork, insurance paperwork, birth certificates, jewelry, marriage/divorce certificate, copy of passports, copy of college degrees, copy of Social Security card, copy of professional certificates, copy of medical/health records for all family members, living trust, etc. I even keep a backup credit card, checkbook, and a few saving bonds just in case something happens to the house we can access money right away. This is just to list a few common items people have in them.
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IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:6
You must have a BIG expensive box to be able to keep all that stuff in it. Mine is not wide enough for a DVD. it is long and narrow and is not the smallest sized box. If I could afford a gigantic box like you have, I'd probably be on a 10 year waiting list as there are VERY FEW of those at my bank. My bank just replaced all the boxes. They were forced to do so and when they did, they didn't add more huge boxes. (They moved mine from where I could easily reach it to the very top level where a ladder is required). UGH.
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When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
said by Mele20:

They moved mine from where I could easily reach it to the very top level where a ladder is required

So what. That's the bank's problem, as their staff members remove and replace the boxes.

Just get a flash drive to hold files and store that in the box. No need for a CD or DVD.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:6
No, the bank's staff members do NOT remove and replace the boxes. I do that..or did always all the years I had one at this bank and before this bank at another bank in this town. All the safe deposit box employee does is insert her key after I insert mine and then we turn them together. But now that my box is up so high only one person can climb the ladder and it can't be me because the bank's key can't leave the employee's hand but mine can be given to the employee. I preferred it when I had more control as I think most folks would.

I don't understand why they didn't just give me the same box back after they replaced that wall of boxes and just give me a temporary box in a different area but they made the temporary, up too high box, permanent. At least I got a bigger than usual discount for the year because of all the inconvenience. I had a terrible time finding the second key to return to them. (I don't know why the needed it since those boxes were being replaced because they could no longer get keys for the boxes as they were so old). I had hidden the second key so well that I hid it from myself! I finally found it after days of searching. I couldn't believe, with the new keys to the new box, that the bank employee sat on the floor in the vault, with me standing near her, and proceeded to literally pound out the key number onto the new set of keys. Very old fashioned way of doing it!
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When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
said by Mele20:

No, the bank's staff members do NOT remove and replace the boxes.

Then your bank sucks.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:6
Why? I don't think that at all. They are simply showing Aloha spirit. I suppose if I was a standoffish bitch/bastard and screamed at them that they are my "servants" and have to do all the work while I stand royally by to criticize them if they are not perfect then they would do it all themselves. But we don't function that way in Hawaii.

This bank happens to be one of the two major banks in Hawaii. It certainly doesn't "suck" although I don't love everything about it...it is a bank. Hmm....maybe it is because it is owned by BNP Paribas which is the largest bank and largest company in the world that it behaves in this manner.
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When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
If you think you should have to climb a ladder to get to your box... All I can say is the bank better have their accident insurance paid-up to pay the multi-million dollar settlement after someone falls and breaks their hip.

At every bank I've ever been in, the customers don't touch the boxes on the wall at any time or the drawers until they've been removed.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:6
I never said I should climb a ladder! What I said was that my bank should have given me my old box back once that wall of boxes was replaced. My old box was low enough that the safe deposit box employee and myself could do it properly by activating our keys at the same time together. Now, I have to let them do it for the reason you mentioned. A taller person could reach the box without a ladder but in Hawaii average height of all people (men and women) is 5'3" so neither the employee or I (both of us with about 2-3" heels on) could reach it ...but anyone over about 5'5" about could reach it without a ladder. Why not give the high boxes to taller folks?

At this bank, the employee (assuming the box is low enough to be reached without a ladder by the box renter) expects the box renter to insert their key and steps back from the boxes so the renter can do so and then steps forward and inserts the bank's key and both turn the keys together. They were apologetic to me about it but wouldn't give me my old box back.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson