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These are the best things to keep in a safe deposit box

Kiplinger Logo By Bob Niedt of Kiplinger | Slide 1 of 12: As digital records and cloud storage become the norm, the stodgy safe deposit box is under threat to join our growing list of things that will soon disappear forever. But don’t rush to declare the safe deposit box a relic of the past just yet. You still need to be able to produce certain original documents, rather than digital scans or photocopies, and some valuables simply can’t be digitized. Installing a safe in your home is one alternative to a safe deposit box, but they aren’t foolproof, says Luke W. Reynolds, chief of the FDIC's Community Outreach Section. Home safes are more susceptible to fire and water damage, not to mention theft, than bank safe deposit boxes, he says. Take note that access to your safe deposit box could be even more limited during emergencies. The coronavirus pandemic has reduced operating hours for some bank branches, and major banks, including Bank of America, have temporarily closed select branches. Others require an appointment for in-branch services, such as access to your safe deposit box. That would complicate your ability to retrieve important documents or items when you need them. Our best advice: Use both. Hard-to-replace items that you might need frequently, such as your passport, are best kept in the home safe, while other important items you rarely need stay in the safe deposit box. Here are 11 of the best things to keep in a safe deposit box at your bank, updated for 2020. SEE ALSO: 9 Things You'll Regret Keeping in a Safe Deposit Box

As digital records and cloud storage become the norm, the stodgy safe deposit box is under threat to join our growing list of things that will soon disappear forever.

But don’t rush to declare the safe deposit box a relic of the past just yet. You still need to be able to produce certain original documents, rather than digital scans or photocopies, and some valuables simply can’t be digitized.

Installing a safe in your home is one alternative to a safe deposit box, but they aren’t foolproof, says Luke W. Reynolds, chief of the FDIC's Community Outreach Section. Home safes are more susceptible to fire and water damage, not to mention theft, than bank safe deposit boxes, he says.

Take note that access to your safe deposit box could be even more limited during emergencies. The coronavirus pandemic has reduced operating hours for some bank branches, and major banks, including Bank of America, have temporarily closed select branches. Others require an appointment for in-branch services, such as access to your safe deposit box. That would complicate your ability to retrieve important documents or items when you need them.

Our best advice: Use both. Hard-to-replace items that you might need frequently, such as your passport, are best kept in the home safe, while other important items you rarely need stay in the safe deposit box.

Click ahead to see 11 of the best things to keep in a safe deposit box, updated for 2020.

SEE ALSO: 9 Things You'll Regret Keeping in a Safe Deposit Box

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