Looking at the tax records as frequently as I do, it seems most people have embraced the need for a trust. But what many are not aware of is the problems that can happen after death with safety deposit boxes. There is a crazy patchwork of rules when it comes to safety deposit boxes and also a wide range of opinions from bankers and lawyers. Between the Federal guidelines, State guidelines and individual bank rules, it is anyoneâs guess how access will be handled after the ownerâs death.
Some experts advise to keep your important documents such as a will and trust in a safety deposit boxes, but others say absolutely not. I guess this a personal decision but if you do decide to put anything of importance or value in a safety deposit box, you absolutely must make your heirs joint owners of the box. Also it is a good idea to ask to see the banks rules and regulations concerning the safety deposit box.
A client of mine was not able to access his fatherâs safety deposit box, even though his mom was still alive, for nearly a year after his fatherâs passing. They needed important documents to help his mother sell her property and move closer to the family. So take this advice to heart and put your family members on âtitleâ of the safety box, if you will. You owe it to your loved ones to make what will be a difficult time emotional, just a bit less stressful.