What Belongs in Your Safe Deposit Box?

June 25, 2006

Here’s a list of items that should be kept in your safe deposit box. I found this list in an out-of-print book titled “The Money Club” by Marilyn Crockett, Diane Terman Felenstein, with Dale Burg. Duplicates of the items marked with an “*” should be kept in your home financial files for quick reference. Make sure a responsible family member or friend is aware of your safe deposit box, where it is kept, and how to gain access to it, should something happen to you. Oh, and safe deposit box rental can be tax-deductible.

UPDATE: I added a copy of your will to the list (thanks to reader Stacey for the reminder!)


ϑ Marriage certificate

ϑ Copy of will

ϑ Birth certificate

ϑ *Copy of passport

ϑ *Copy of college degree

ϑ *Copy of professional license

ϑ *Copy of separation/divorce papers

ϑ Social Security Card

ϑ *Copy of health information (vaccinations, hospitalizations)

ϑ *Military records


ϑ *Deeds, titles, title insurance for home

ϑ *Deeds, titles, title insurance for any other property you own

ϑ *Deeds, title, title insurance for auto(s)

ϑ *Videotape/DVD inventory of house

ϑ *Copy of receipts for big-ticket items like furnishings

ϑ *Copy of homeowner’s insurance

ϑ *Copy of receipts for home improvements

ϑ *Coins, jewelry, etc.


ϑ *Copy of employment contract

ϑ *Original stock certificates (if not held in street name, which is the recommended form of ownership)

ϑ *Original prospectuses and sales materials for any limited partnerships

ϑ *Bonds and Treasury securities (if not held in street name)

ϑ *U.S. savings bonds

52 responses to What Belongs in Your Safe Deposit Box?

  1. As a banker, I can assure you we do not have copies of keys for safe deposit boxes. If a box needs to be opened without keys (eg: because the customer lost the keys), the lock has to be drilled out of the box. It’s expensive and the customer pays.

    Secondly, there is no way whatsoever we could access someones box without them present. Our boxes are dual-keyed. They require a key that a bank employee has, and the key that the customer has. The box cannot be opened without BOTH keys in the box at the same time.

    I can’t vouch for all banks; it may be prudent to ask your bank what security measures are in place for their safe deposit area, if you are concerned.