If you have a safe deposit box at the bank, you may feel you don’t need a home safe. But what if you need access to jewelry, gold or a document such as your birth certificate when the bank is closed?
The best way to prepare for one of these emergencies is to have a safe that is both water and fireproof. You could opt to keep your items in a Safe deposit box for sale at the bank; it’s just a bit less accessible than one that is in your home. Last year there were some flood victims in Southeast Minnesota who had to work hard to prove they own the property that was destroyed. They lost their mortgage, titles and deeds in the flood. Having your important difficult to replace documents in a safe along with an up to date household inventory (and appraisals or receipts of valuables) can save you quite a bit of time, money and headache if you have a flood, fire or break in.
Wall safes can also be a good choice and (depending on the size) can be covered with a large picture or other type of decor. They can be manufactured to be extremely secure and may use advanced technology such as fingerprint scanning to ensure that only select people can open the safe.
For these reasons and many others, a residential safe can be vital for keeping your jewelry, gold and documents where you need them, even at a moment’s notice. There are also financial documents such as your latest tax statements, retirement plans and home purchase records which can be desirable to have nearby.
Many bank safety deposit boxes have two keys – one is held by you. The second (a general pass key) is kept by the bank. Only with both can the box be opened.
Not updating the Will: The circumstances of life change, sometimes rapidly. Serious illness, divorce, death of a spouse, adoption, birth of each child, moving from one state to another, receiving a windfall, getting married or remarried, fluctuations in asset value, and deaths of heirs can change what you wish to do with your estate. Update your Will annually, or at least review it annually to make sure needed updates are done.
11. Stay in contact with your probate attorney. The estate can pay his fees, but you must be sure that what you’re doing is within the law. Ignorance is no excuse.