In response to "Time to Part with Safe Deposit Boxes"​ (12 Feb, The Straits Times)

Tuesday, Feb 14 2017 04:06 PM

"Do be careful with what you put inside the box," the kindly bank officer told me on one of my rare visits to take some jewellery out of my safe deposit box before Chinese New Year.

We had been chatting about the people who use such boxes when she broke the bad news that the rental rate of my box was set to go up. But more on that later.

Safe Deposit Box Keys

First, she warned me about the practice of sharing boxes. A mother shares the box with her daughter, for instance. Assuming the box is solely in her name, the box is sealed immediately when she passes on, and the daughter has no access. And the contents of the box are all assumed to belong to the mother.

According to Ms Rina Kalpanath Singh of Kalco Law, as soon as the bank is made aware of the death of one of the account holders, the box is normally sealed by the bank, to avoid any dispute as to what items in it belong to the estate of the deceased.

Growing up, having a safe deposit box symbolised financial adulthood, even more than scoring that exclusive credit card.

But that's not a view shared by many nowadays. I did a casual check among friends and colleagues whom I met over the Chinese New Year period and only a couple owned up to having a box. Others said: "I don't, but my mother has one."

It's probably the hassle that has contributed to the decline in popularity. Access is only at limited times, although the hours are certainly longer at non-bank locations

Meanwhile, things are not going smoothly on the safe deposit box front for me.

During my visit, the bank officer told me that a preferential rate I was enjoying was going to expire and a higher rate - practically double - would kick in soon.

If I wanted the preferential rate, I would have to tie up a significant amount of funds. If not, I would have to get into the queue for a fresh safe deposit box.

Growing up, having a safe deposit box symbolised financial adulthood, even more than scoring that exclusive credit card. But that's not a view shared by many nowadays. I did a casual check among friends and colleagues whom I met over the Chinese New Year period and only a couple owned up to having a box.

Despite my view that boxes are less popular, the queue now stands at 500-strong. There's probably less retail interest, but sole proprietorships or small and medium-sized enterprises still use them for company documents.

At this rate, it looks like I will have to part ways with that box. The money I save from the rental of the box won't get me a fancy piece of jewellery - but it will go some way to buying a sturdy safe.

 

for the full article please go to this link :- http://www.straitstimes.com/business/invest/time-to-part-ways-with-safe-deposit-boxes