DEAR HARRY: My husband died 15 years ago. I was left with two daughters, one of whom has a general power of attorney over everything at the bank including a safe-deposit box. I had not visited that box in more than 10 years until last month. I went there to take out a ring I wanted to wear to a wedding when I discovered that it and another ring were missing. The bank's manager said that my daughter had visited the box about two years ago. No one ever notified me of the visit. My daughter said that her visit was to make sure none of my old EE bonds came due. They did, and she gave them to the bank to have redeemed. I confirmed this because I had no recollection of cashing in the bonds. She insists that the rings were there at the time. The value of those pieces had to be at least $20,000. Where do I go from here?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: From what you said, it appears that the rings were not insured. I see two possibilities. The first is that your daughter left them on the desk in the little room that the bank has for safe-deposit customers, and the next person to use the room took them. There might be a slight possibility that the bank can retrieve that information and ask the user. You can guess at the other possibility. In either case, my feeling is that they are not going to be found. Sorry.
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