How to Open a Safe- Deposit Box and Secure It's Contents

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Having your valuables in a safe-deposit box means greater security.
Having your valuables in a safe-deposit box means greater security. (Image: Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you feel insecure about keeping valuables such as jewelry, large sums of money and important documents on your premises, consider establishing a safe-deposit box at a local financial institution. It is a relatively easy process that involves just a few considerations but can bring much greater peace of mind.

Use a bank near your home and/or workplace in which you already have an account. This will make you eligible for a discount. Ask a banker to open a safe-deposit box in the vault area for its higher level of security. Many bank vaults will give you 24-hour access to your box.

Arrange for the box size you will need. Ensure it contains sufficient room to securely hold all jewelry, documents and money. Be sure to seal your belongings in a watertight plastic bag. Safe-deposit boxes can get flooded in the event of a natural disaster.

Make digital copies of your contents. Keep records of all important contents in the event of theft or loss. You can take pictures and store them on your personal computer or secondary safe location.

Give a trusted individual access to your safe-deposit key and location in case you become sick or disabled. Execute this legally via a signed power of attorney.

Pay the box rent on time or the state can seize the contents. It will all become unclaimed property that will require time and effort to recover.

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