How to Open a Safe Deposit Box

A safe deposit box is a secured storage area, usually insude a bank vault, that provides proetection against accidental loss, fire and theft. If you have important documents or small, valuable items at home where there are vulnerable to fire or theft, it may be in your best interest to open a safe deposit box to store your small valuables and important documents.

Step 1

Select a bank with a safe-deposit box section. Keep in mind that banks often give existing customers discounts on box rental rates.

Step 2

Determine what size box you need. Will you be storing only documents, or will you need a larger box for items such as jewelry or small valuable collectibles?

Step 3

Fill out and sign a safe-deposit box lease agreement. Anyone you authorize to access the box must also sign the agreement.

Step 4

Place your valuables into the safe-deposit box.

Step 5

Now the only item you must safeguard is the safe deposit box key.

Tip

If you are the only person authorized to access the safe-deposit box, consider giving a trusted individual the power of attorney to access the box in the event of your illness or death. Select a bank that is convenient to your work or home.

Warning

Do not use the safe-deposit box to store documents you might need while the bank is closed. This includes passports and powers of attorney. The keys you receive when you lease your box are the only keys that will open the box. If you lose the keys, report it to the bank immediately. Most likely, you will have to pay a locksmith to open the box and replace the lock. If you do not pay the rental fees on the box, any property in the box might be turned over to your state's unclaimed property office. The contents of safe-deposit boxes are not FDIC insured.