Should I give my family and friends access to my bank account or safe deposit box?
Good question. Here are some points to consider first:
Adding a co-owner to a deposit account is very different from giving someone limited access in an emergency. People often want family members or friends to be able to withdraw funds from their bank account if, for example, they become ill or incapacitated. One way to do that is to make an arrangement with the bank to specify in the account records that you are giving someone the right to withdraw money on your behalf. Another way is to grant the other person a “power of attorney” which gives him/her the legal authority to handle transactions and make financial and other decision for you.
Think about who should have access to your safe deposit box. You can jointly rent a safe deposit box with a relative or anyone else who would have unrestricted access to the box. Or, you can arrange with your bank to permit someone to access the box as a convenience to you, not as full or partial owners of the contents. Remember, you only want to give someone whom you absolutely trust access to your money whether it be in an account or in a safety deposit box.