The Pros and Cons of a Safe Deposit Box: In this episode of “Ask the Hammer”, Robert Powell, editor of Retirement Daily on TheStreet, sat down with financial expert Jeffrey Levine from Buckingham to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of owning a safe deposit box. Here are the highlights from their engaging conversation.
The Benefits of a Safe Deposit Box
Levine began by emphasizing the peace of mind that comes with having a safe deposit box. With one, individuals can securely store items of significant personal or financial value with confidence. Safe deposit boxes provide protection against natural calamities like floods, theft, and fires.
For many, home security can be unreliable. Even in the safest neighborhoods, break-ins can happen. Safe deposit boxes can be ideal for safeguarding:
Valuable jewelry or heirlooms.
Essential documents like birth certificates and passports.
Digital items of sentimental value, like photos stored on USB drives.
However, safe deposit boxes are not without their drawbacks. Firstly, they typically come with a fee, unless a bank offers it as a perk for high net worth clients. Furthermore, accessing the contents requires physically visiting the bank and using a unique key, which one must not lose.
One significant concern Levine highlighted is in the event of the owner’s passing. Accessing a deceased person’s safe deposit box can become a legal challenge if there isn’t a co-owner or clear instructions left behind. Banks err on the side of caution, often requiring court orders, will evaluations, and other legal processes before granting access.
It’s also not ideal to store original copies of wills or burial instructions in a safe deposit box. Levine advises having duplicates in the box but ensuring that original documents are easily accessible, especially to fiduciaries. For example, it’s practical to hand over a copy of one’s will to the designated executor or a copy of a trust to the trustee.
Submit Your Financial Questions
The conversation concluded with Powell encouraging viewers to submit their financial queries to “Ask the Hammer” at [email protected]. Both Powell and Levine are eager to address concerns and provide insights on various financial topics.
In summary, while safe deposit boxes offer a high level of security, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits against the potential challenges, especially in unforeseen circumstances. It’s always a good idea to seek advice and stay informed about best practices. Watch more episodes of Ask The Hammer on finStream TV at this link: https://www.finstream.tv/videos/ask-the-hammer/