OT Safety Deposit Box (at a bank)

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On 3/2/2011 9:25 AM, dpb wrote:

And, since OP said was in NY I did a _very_ little looking.
Looks like they're quite restrictive in comparison to the rules in place where I'm used to (not terribly surprising and yet another reason to be glad not in the NE).
But, there seems to have been a law change in 2000 that mitigates the unconditional locking and a proviso by which one can get access via waivers obtained from the State. I didn't find in the small amount of time I was willing to spend on the subject a full exposition but a NY State tax guidance document outlined a number of exceptions in some cases. But, afaict, that guidance didn't fully deal w/ case(s) of multiple lessees, trusts with named succession of trustee, estates w/ named executors/wills, etc., etc., etc., ...
From what I saw I'd say NY law is complex enough as to make any guesstulating from ahr worth even less than the outlay for the opinions posted... :)
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I know. Let's ask Rush. He learned enough about NY law to move out.
SteveB ;-)
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And I talked out of my ass in my earlier post, not stating that what I was saying was only the status in the states I had lived in.
Like everything, it is good to ask these questions first.
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(Bob R) wrote:

Next time you're in the vault, look for black dime sized plugs in some of the keys. They're there for a reason. No one is going in there without an audience being present. There are ways to freeze them.
SteveB
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On Tue, 1 Mar 2011 19:47:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Bob R) wrote:

In my opinion it is a good idea if you have items that you would like to keep more safely than they would be in a dresser drawer. Things like car titles, property deeds, wills, etc. come to mind.
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What about a fireproof safe in your own home?
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Great for some stuff, not as good for others. I have a box at home with passports, papers that may be needed occasionally, etc. But, the entire box can be stolen so it is less secure than a bank vault. Not a good place if you have say, five pounds of gold to hide. Assess your needs and decide.
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Also they are fire resistant, not fireproof. During my time doing fire investigations (albeit in the late 70s/early 80s) there were a few times where we opened up a rather pristine looking safe to find ash because the fire was hot enough and long enough to heat the inside of the safe too much.
--
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koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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On 3/2/2011 8:45 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

Agree, but often it is hard to convince someone to shop on value not price. A cheap safe is one step above a cardboard box.
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NEVER put a will in the box. It is sealed when the person dies and you can not get to it for a while. There has to be an officer of the court (referred to as the tax man eairly) present to list the contents of the box.
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Your attorney should have a copy of your will, unless you were too cheap to pay an attorney a couple hundred bucks to draw up your will.
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On Wed, 2 Mar 2011 10:21:00 -0500, "JoeSpareBedroom"

when you cease to be.
--
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Mine said she'll hand it over to whoever I specify and they can take it anywhere they want to finish things off when I'm gone.
What's the alternative? Your family finds your will, wherever you keep it, and they duke it out over the details? Have you ever been involved in a scenario like that? It's really ugly sometimes. If often doesn't matter what the will says. Families will STILL find ways to turn it into a cluster fucque.
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Bob R wrote:

Depends on what you want the box to contain. The boxes are not totally safe from destruction - think 9-11 or Katrina. The Treasury Department will not reimburse you for currency destroyed in a bank box.
That said, safety deposit boxes are very secure. They are surrounded by almost impenetrable concrete and steel and are monitored by sophisticated alarms. The only people who can open the box are you and one other person, plus virtually anybody associated with the government armed with an appropriate warrant; from a deputy sheriff up to the Attorney General of the United States.
The idea of a box is okay for things you may not need immediately but are, nevertheless, valuable. Coin collections or passports come to mind.
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The Treasury Department will not

Depends. Total destruction, nothing, partial destruction, partial compensation.
Steve
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On 3/2/2011 3:15 PM, SteveB wrote:

enough of both serial numbers to verify bill wasn't cut in half, they replace it. If they can recover one, you get half. And it isn't a straight mechanical process- they also read the cover letter and judge the situation. (Leastways, according to the sequence on the TV on 'modern marvels' or one of those shows, where they showed footage of the lab where they do the work.)
I don't think it is significant fraud vector for the feds. It's not like anyone is gonna burn money to get a dollar-for-dollar replacement.
--
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On 3/1/2011 6:47 PM, Bob R wrote:

Whether you should have one or not depends entirely on what you have to put in it...that's part of your estate and other financial planning exercises...
As to the other posters commenting regarding access after death and the requirement for "the taxman" to inventory and access, that all depends on State law (in your case, NY, obviously).
Typical laws with which I'm familiar have provision for one w/ a testamentary letter to open it for the purposes of locating and/or retrieving a will and access to the other contents (if any) are variable from state to state w/ some very onerous; others "not so much".
OTOH, those that I am aware of (four states in which I have resided and hence have specifically looked) have _NO_ restrictions on access to any content for any reason by others who have pre-recorded access either as co-lessors of the box or designated access on file w/ the institution.
You need to find out what law in NY actually says 'cuz what somebody else says on their experience or hearsay is of no merit if it doesn't reflect the specific laws of your state of residence and for your specific case. The one thing is that the Fed's do _NOT_ get involved (unless, perhaps, the deceased were already under investigation for tax fraud or somesuch but that's conjecture, nothing that I've actually researched).
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On Mar 1, 4:47pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Bob R) wrote:

Be sure to put your next of kin, your executor, or whoever you want to have access, on your safe deposit box account. That way, if you die suddenly or become non compos mentis, they will have immediate access to your box. Otherwise, crucial matters could get stalled for quite a while.
HB
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On 3/1/2011 7:47 PM, Bob R wrote:

Well...how secure is home and how valuable are the stored material? I had a safety deposit box for several years, until the cost went to about $100/year. I had documents that represented criminal acts by certain others who were violent family members and my only proof of certain events. It occurred to me that folks feel a lot safer by storing deeds and other irreplaceable items in SDB's that were not as safe as one would believe...living in coastal area of Florida, I asked at the bank if there was a h'cane and flood, would the boxes be water-tight. They said no. So adding ziplock bags or other suitable waterproof container would be needed. If my homeowners policy and photos of all belongings are in the SDB and a h'cane hits, all is lost? Some folks add a second "owner" in case of their demise...I helped a family friend with Alzheimer's gather all of her financial records when her condition became too severe for her to live alone. She was highly intelligent and adapted to Alzheimer's in remarkable ways...she always kept the day's newspaper on the dining room table so that she would know the date. Missing for a long time were about $40K in savings bonds and her family feared that she had given away large sums of money...we checked two or three banks over several days and one evening she had a sudden flash of memory...she went to her closet, grabbed a shoe box out of a pile of "stuff"...voila, there were her bonds.
One should let their family know of the SDB and what (appropriately) they need to know of it's contents. It makes one analize how trustworthy their family members are :o)
After retiring to Florida, my mom would give each of us kids the "death tour" whenever we visited...always kept her papers and valuables in order and gave each of us a copy of her will as well. My brother was added as owner of her relatively small savings account. When she passed away, the attorney for her estate charged, I think, $6K. When her estate was settled, there was about $1,300 left to pay him. I asked him whether, since her affairs were in good order and required little attorney time, would he forgive the remainder of his tab. He did so.
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One of my wives was a paralegal for a family law lawyer. Very old large estates in Louisiana. In the five years she worked for him, we got to see many family scenarios play out. When they say, "It's not about the money, it's about the principle," it's about the money. Heirs, relatives, family members, loved ones, friends, all seem to change when enough zeros come into play. Fistfights in the waiting room. Scheduling so antagonistic groups wouldn't show up within 4 hours of each other.
BTW, we were also privy to the longest murder trial in Louisiana history, which was very interesting.
Steve
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