It goes without saying that a safe deposit box should be used to store things of importance.

For example

  • Copy of your will
  • Copy of insurance policies
  • Titles to your house and cars
  • Detailed list of bank and brokerage accounts, CDs and credit cards
  • Marriage license / Divorce decree
  • Expensive, rarely-worn jewelry
  • Birth certificates
  • Family heirlooms
  • Stock and bond certificates

But some items should not be kept in a safe deposit box because they may be sealed away shortly after death causing delays and administrative problems for the executor and heirs.

  • Original Will
  • Original Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney

These items should be kept in a fire proof safe.  Don’t have a fireproof safe?  Consider using your freezer.  By putting the document in a ziplock bag and placing it in your freezer you have an instant poor man’s safe.