FAQs About Safe Deposit Boxes

Can I keep money or guns in my safe deposit box?

While there is no law against storing money or guns in a safe deposit box, most rental agreements prohibit the storage of explosives, intoxicating liquors, narcotics or any property of an illegal, malodorous or destructive nature. ( Please refer to your rental agreement. )

Can the IRS get into my box?

IRS representatives cannot arbitrarily gain access to your box. However, they can serve a Levy and a Notice of Seizure requiring us to freeze the box. The IRS then requests that you open the box in the presence of its representatives. If you refuse, a court order must be issued, requiring the box to be forced open and the contents impounded.

Will you accept a general power of attorney or a handwritten note authorizing access to my box?

We will not honor either of these requests. We have no way of knowing if these documents have been revoked, whether you are still living or if you were of sound mind when they were signed. Appointing a deputy, agent or guardian are recommended alternatives.

Will you automatically deduct rent from my account?

After you sign and authorization form, we will be pleased to deduct your annual rent. This procedure saves us both time and money by alleviating postage expense and the preparation of checks and invoices.

Are my box contents insured?

The contents of your box are not covered unless you insure them yourself. To ensure privacy and security, we should never know what's in your box. As a result, coverage under our insurance policy or by any regulatory agency would be impossible. Ask your insurance agent about the available options to insure items stored in the box.

In the event of my death, who is authorized to remove my box contents?

Safe deposit laws differ from state to state. In most states, if you have a jointly rented box, other authorized renters may remove all contents without restrictions. If you are the sole renter, access is restricted and only granted to someone who presents a (Will Search) court order. At our discretion we may also grant access to your spouse, parent, adult descendant, a person named as the estate representative in your will or other interested persons. However, only your life insurance policies, burial deed or Will be be removed and delivered to this designated person. Nothing else may be removed until proper estate documents are provided. (For the state law that affects your safe deposit box, please ask our trained personnel.)

If I become sick, disabled or take an extended vacation, can I appoint a deputy to be responsile for my box contents?

Deputy appointments are easily accomplished. It simply requires that all renters and the deputy be present during this appointment. The deputy should be given one of your keys for access. It's important to remember that we take no responsibility for the deputy's action. Upon proper notification of your death or incompetency, the deputy's right of access will cease.

What happens if I lose my safe deposit keys?

If one key is lost, bring in the remaining key and close the box. If both keys are lost, the box must be forced open in your presence and at your expense.

What if I don't pay my box rent?

Your rental agreement specifies that you will pay your annual rent one year in advance. If this rent is not paid on or before your specified due date, it is delinquent. We will attempt to notify you by mail. If there is no response, we will take the prescribed action in accordance with state law and the past due clause in your safe deposit contract. Any expenses directly or indirectly incurred in this collection process will be added to your past due rent, and your amount may be turned over to a credit and/or collection agency.

Is your vault, fireproof, waterproof, or burglarproof?

No institution can guarantee 100% vault security. Vaults are merely "resistant" to fire, floods, burglary and other unavoidable perils. (Please refer to previous insurance question.)

What items should be kept in my safe deposit box?

The following items should be protected in a safe deposit box:

  • Abstracts
  • Adoption Papers
  • Agreements
  • Assumed Name Papers
  • Auto Insurance
  • Automobile Titles
  • Awards
  • Bank Records
  • Bill of Sale
  • Birth Certificates
  • Bonds
  • Books
  • Burial Deeds
  • Bylaws
  • Cancelled Checks
  • Casuality Insurance
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Citizenship Papers
  • Coin Collections
  • Computer Disks
  • Computer Tapes
  • Confidential Records
  • Contracts
  • Copyright Papers
  • Corporate Charter
  • Court Decrees
  • Credit Cards
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Family Records
  • Financial Statements
  • Heirlooms
  • Historical Records
  • Home Insurance
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Insurance Policies
  • Inventory Records
  • Jewelry
  • Leases
  • Legal Papers
  • Liability Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Living Trust
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Medals
  • Military Documents
  • Mortgages
  • Negatives
  • Notes
  • Passports
  • Patient Papers
  • Pension Papers
  • Photographs
  • Physicians Directives
  • Power of Attorney
  • Receipts
  • Retirement Papers
  • Savings Certificates
  • Securities
  • Social Security Papers
  • Souvenirs
  • Stamps (rare)
  • Stocks
  • Surety Bonds
  • Tax Receipts
  • Title Insurance Policy
  • Treasury Securities
  • Trust Papers
  • U.S. Savings Bonds
  • Wills
  • Other Valuable Items