Under the laws of many states, a person’s safe deposit box is sealed upon death and can be opened only after certain procedures prescribed by state law have been complied with. This can cause delay in obtaining important documents that the surviving spouse may need immediately, such as the will, cemetery deeds, military discharge papers, etc.
One way of avoiding this problem is to have two safe deposit boxes–one in the name of each spouse. The wife can keep in her vault important documents that will be needed in the event of her husband’s death and the husband can keep those documents that will be needed if his wife dies.
An extra safe deposit box costs very little. If it can help minimize the problems and grief at time of death, it can be a worthwhile expenditure.