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Problems with Safe Deposit Boxes

I have been told that you want to stay away from safe deposit boxes for documents your executor and heirs will need. I.e., store your will, your living trust, and so forth somewhere other than in a safety deposit box. Otherwise, they may be locked out of access to the very documents they need!

But the following video shows an additional danger–your money-hungry state government. I believe you will find it well worth your while to take the 5 minutes to watch this ABC News report . . . or read it here!

You’ll get to hear–or see–the stories of a San Francisco woman whose jewelry, appraised at over $80,000, was sold out from under her even though she was current on all of her box rental fees, lived a few blocks from her bank, and had not moved; or of a man whose retirement savings, consisting of $4 million worth of stocks were sold so the State of California could get $200,000; and . . . Well, watch . . . or read.

Key points: If you have a safe deposit box that you want to use,

  • Keep in touch with the bank . . . at least once a year so there is no way the bank can have any excuse to claim you have abandoned the box.
  • Make sure you have created a list of the contents and provided it to your heirs and/or executor.
  • Pray your state doesn’t become quite as greedy as California!

By the way: To find missing property, check out ABC’s recommended sources:

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  • Jenny

    Question: Are there any non-bank firms that basically offer the same kind of service? Seems like that would be a safer alternative.

  • John Holzmann

    Jenny: I’m not sure if they are any better. I heard from a friend about this company in Las Vegas. Pretty amazing. Very discrete and very private. But what do you do when the place gets robbed (as it was just a week ago)? I don’t know.


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