You might well, sooner or later, end up in possession of sensitive papers or other portable assets of great value that should be kept in a safe place – like an offshore safety place facility.
What kind of things are we talking about? Any valuable papers. Things like automobiletTitles, Coins (scarce), Passports, Bearer Shares, Citizenship Records, Bills of Sale, Pension records, school transcripts, trust documents, immigration papers, scarce stamps, mortgage documents and so on. You may also wish to store data such as USB memory sticks or backup DVDs securely off-site.
A safety place box is also recommended by many experts for estate planning purposes. To pass the contents of a safe place box to your heirs without any formalities, all that is necessary is that another person have access and a meaningful. This is achieved by having the inheritor be a signer on the box. If you don’t want them to have access during your lifetime, you keep the meaningful and position for it to be delivered to them in a sealed envelope with instructions, upon your death or disablement.
Should you Use a Bank or an Independent Safe place Box Company?
Generally the best solution is to rent a safety place box in a reliable major, first class bank – not just a box company. Many edges will require that you also have an account with them and that withdrawals to pay the box rent be empowered in improvement.
Why should you use a bank instead of an independent safe place company? Because independent companies seem to fold or get robbed with great regularity. Like public storage facilities, they are also frequently used by less desirable characters.
however, a private storage outfit may not require any identification to open a box. They may accept any nom de plume you care to give them. Customers may be admitted on the basis of a plastic card without any need to sign in. As such a box is not connected to any account or payment facility, it behooves the user to pay several years in improvement. This will avoid the box being opened and the contents sold for non-payment of rent.
One client told me the sad story of how after a long hospital stay due to cancer, he discovered that his box in a public self-storage unit had been opened after a year for non-payment of rent. The contents were sold at auction. He had a collection of old stock certificates that were worthless as stocks, but of great value to collectors. One had a scarce original identifying characteristics of inventor Thomas Edison. They were disposed of as fragment paper.
The Best Countries for Offshore Safe place Boxes
Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg are traditional safe havens that are perfect for safe place boxes. A good country for a box is one where there is no need to show a passport or go by any formal border controls. This is not the case with Switzerland – unless you take your chances on one of the very few unmanned border crossings!
Vienna and Zurich airports are also functional national airline hubs. You can conveniently pass by these countries when travelling between other cities. Just position a stop over long enough to visit your stash; putting in or taking out what you need. For a safety place box locale you don’t need to seek out a tax haven. Any peaceful, stable country where character rights are respected is just fine.
Almost all edges offer safety place boxes. If yours is located in a country where you have no problems, it doesn’t matter much which one you use. But you should have at the minimum one person you trust who knows about the box and is able to access it. If you have an accident it is important that your box not be forgotten or abandoned.
Keep the meaningful Safe!
When you have opened the box, consider depositing the meaningful in a sealed envelope with the bank’s safekeeping office or your personal private banker. By doing this you ensure that the meaningful won’t be discovered on your person or among your possessions by anyone with dubious intentions, like your soon-to-be ex-wife.
Many bank safety place boxes have two keys – one is held by you. The second (a general pass meaningful) is kept by the bank. Only with both can the box be opened.
In the very latest high-tech safe place boxes, there is no meaningful. These safe-place boxes can be opened only with fingerprint scans. Another solution is to use boxes in places where they have combination locks. Experienced safe-crackers are good at opening combo-locks. They are less obtain than complicate keys – in our experience. We are likewise not keen on secret memorized numbers. Why? Because we have more than once forgotten an important combination or password.
Be sure that you can access the box without showing ID, in case you lose it and need to get at your backup copies that you thoughtfully secured within the box! Some edges, particularly those in Zurich, want to see and photocopy ID every time you access your box – already if you are well known. Where ever your box may be, be sure you are introduced to several of the staff who can help you access your box without ID should you need to. Tell them to take a good look and remember you personally so you can always access your box or the money in the account without any identification. Tell them your favorite stupid joke or story and tell them to remember it so that you can tell it again many years later. Then they will remember you!
Shhh… Can You Keep a Secret?
Don’t just take a safe place box meaningful and keep it on a gold chain around your neck at all times. This is something that movie villains do.
If you want something secret, always think ahead. Don’t tell anyone about it. Leave the meaningful and instructions with your personal banker or someone you trust implicitly. Also think ahead! Leave death instructions in your box – just in case something happens to you. These can be written, or can be on a CD in video form. Your box will be opened after about a year or two of inactivity – if and when the annual fees don’t get paid.
Sometimes a safe place box is forgotten for decades. About seventy years after the criminal mastermind and reputed billionaire Al Capone died in prison, a closed bank that he once owned in Chicago was found to have a long forgotten, secret locked underground vault registered in his name. His money had never been found. A national television network bought rights to show the drilling and re-opening of this vault ‘live on TV.’ Many people, myself included, tuned in for the grand opening. We thought it would be an event to equal the discovery of King Tut’s fabulous tomb in Egypt. What happened? It was a good show with a let-down for an ending. seemingly, someone with a spare meaningful to Al Capone’s safe place facility had arrived there first. Nothing of the slightest interest was in the vault.
Will Your Secrets Die With You?
Most offshore edges will require that you have a bank account with them and that they be empowered to withdraw your annual safety place box rent payments from that account. With such instructions and automated payment you could be dead for many years before you are presumed dead and your box is drilled. consequently your banker should perhaps be instructed to open your instructions (not your box) in case he doesn’t hear from you for a certain period of time, like say three years. Better in addition, your banker should be instructed “after 3 years of no contact, please contact my attorney, XYZ, or your kids, wife, best friend.” Someone you trust should have instructions on what to do with your assets in the event of your death, disappearance or disability. Your banker should be told what to do or how and when he is to contact those persons who will surely know where you are.
Perhaps someone you trust, who has nothing to gain from suing you, should be given a sealed strength of attorney or an assignment plus a valid will so that all loose ends are tied up. Without this, in Switzerland for example, the bank just keeps your assets! Simple as that. In English speaking countries there is usually an escheat law covering idle accounts and abandoned safe place box contents. In England, unclaimed money and assets go to ‘The Crown.’ In California, box contents and accounts idle for over seven years go to the Teachers’ Pension Fund.
In such situations, the heirs have only a very limited time to make claim. Most never do because they never learn of the assets.
Your Anonymous Safe in an Austrian Palace
The Swiss and the Austrians generally excel at running discreet safe place facilities. In nearly all countries, ID is required to rent a safe box. But in Austria, at the time of writing, there is one safe place company offering anonymous safes. It has been around for years and was highly recommended by a reader. It’s a good place to store second passports, bank cards and other PT paraphernalia that you may not want to keep in your home country.
This company has its facilities in the basement of a beautiful Viennese palace. It’s name is Das Safe and its website is http://www.dassafe.com If you are in Vienna, you can visit them at Auerspergstrasse 1. We predict they will stay in business for a long time to come, but for how long they will be allowed to take anonymous business is open to question.
Other recommended safe place facilities in Austria are at the Schoellerbank branches (where no meaningful is required – access is regulated by an electronic fingerprint examine) and at the Raiffeisenbank in the ‘secret’ community of Jungholz.
A Reliable Safe place Company in Prague
Another service we know of is Prague Safe place in the Czech Republic. They require valid ID to open a box. The service from then on is highly specialized and discreet with no ID required for later access. You can pay up to five years in improvement. Entry to the main vault is self-service with a swipe card system at the main door. You can give the door card and meaningful to anyone. They can then gain access to your safe-box without the need to meet any staff or clarify themselves in any way.
This particular enterprise is a joint venture between one of the Czech edges and the Chequepoint chain of money changers. It has been around since 1992. They are located in the basement of an old bank building just off the famous Wenceslas Square. They welcome visitors to stop by and inspect the facilities. The street address is 28 Ijna 13. The website is not currently obtainable in English, but if you do visit them you will find they speak English.