Most Important Documents to Keep in a Fireproof Safe
Safe-Keeping Your Life Documents
We always hear of how important it is to keep your valuables locked up in a fireproof safe----jewelry, stocks, cash and personal documents. And I tend to agree with that, but in this article we're going to talk about which personal documents you'll protect, in a fire proof safe, because you love your family.
There truly is peace of mind when you know you have taken care of your family and it most definitely is a gift of love.
My definition of Life Documents is: the "written will" that states who will take care of your underage child or children in case both parents die, and the "living will," which all older persons need, that lets your family, and health care providers, know your wishes for medical treatment in case you are unable to do so.
You Must Make Now
I know, no one wants to talk about a subject like this, but we'll do it because we love our children and family.
If you are in your early 20's, and married with children, this article is meant for you, as well as everyone older than that. We need to plan for the possibility of unexpected death. Yeh, I agree, that's pretty blunt, but once we get these most important documents in a safe place, we can forget about it again.
What to Put in the Safe
Don't forget these
1.First and foremost, place your will and living will in the safe.
2.Add your marriage certificate, birth certificates and adoption papers
3.Citizenship and passport papers
4.Divorce decrees and Death certificates
5.Deeds to your home and properties.
6.Titles to your cars and trucks
7.Stock certificates and Bonds
8.Household inventory list
10.Thumb drive of valued photos and computer back-ups
As a Gift of Love
The most important document is your will, and forgive me when I say that I'm not talking about putting your money or jewelry in a fire-proof safe, I am talking about putting your will there. If you are a young parent, the most important document that every one of you should have is the one that states your wishes in regard to who will take care of your children if you should suddenly die.
If both parents die at the same time, you'll want to have been the person deciding who will raise your child or children. And be sure to talk to the person or persons you wish to name, to be sure they are willing to do it. And as an older person, I want to say who I choose to make my medical decisions if I am unable to do so.
During an average lifetime, there's a one in four chance of experiencing a household fire large enough to warrant calling the fire department.
The National Fire Protection Association
What Kind of Safe
Do you need?
You may not need a large safe to protect your Life Documents, but be sure it is fireproof and waterproof.If you are keeping some things as CD's, DVD's or computer hard drives in your safe, it takes a specialized safe to protect them. These could include backups for information on your computer or even thumb drives holding family photos.
If you are including these items in your safe, the safe will need a rating of 125, which means the temperature in the safe will never exceed 125 degrees.
Because fires tend to move through a home; an average room will be afire for an average of about 20 minutes, therefore 30 minute protection is typically all you need for home safes.
Where to Keep the Safe
Location is important
When placing the safe, consider the weight and don't place it somewhere where it could fall into the basement or an area that would be almost impossible to get to after the fire.
You probably won’t want to place your safe in the master bedroom because that is the room that burglars tend to check first. Your basement would probably be a better place unless your home is located in a flood prone location.
Importance of a Will
How important do you think a will is?
It's more important to get a good, smaller sized safe that will hold your Life Documents safely and securely, than to buy a larger than needed, but cheaper safe, and then to lose irreplaceable documents. Prices can range from under $100.00 to over $1000.
In this case bigger is not always better. Buy a safe that is large enough for your needs, with the best fire and waterproof features available.This is not a time to go for the cheapest item; your valuable documents are at risk if there is a fire.
For a 1.2 to 1.3 cubic foot safe, it'll cost about $150 to $300. Larger safes will cost more, as will other features like drawers and shelves.
A simple way to determine how large a safe you might need is to pile up everything you plan to put in it and measure. A fairly common home-safe capacity is 1.2 to 1.3 cubic feet, which should easily accommodate a foot-high stack of 8- by 11-inch papers, for example.Consumer Reports
What else would you consider valuable enough to put in your safe?
© 2012 Loraine Brummer