As a parent, I’ve recently been thinking of all the responsible things that I should be doing to ensure the well being of my family in the (hopefully) unlikely event that I drop dead. Worse yet, perhaps my wife and I will both drop dead, leaving our young kids behind. I’m not overly concerned about this, mind you, but concerned just the same.
You see, I’m essentially the Chief Financial Officer of my family and, although our finances aren’t horribly complex, our money is spread around a bit in multiple retirement accounts, a couple of online bank accounts, a ‘regular’ brick and mortar bank, etc. When you start thinking about all of the account numbers, passwords, and other related minutiae, the information really begins to pile up. Add to that the various legal documents â€“ such as our badly outdated will, the deed to our house, our car titles, life insurance policies, and a variety of other documents that we don’t regularly use, and which I don’t relish having to replace if lost, stolen or destroyed â€“ and even our relatively simple life begins to look increasingly complex. Especially if someone is trying to make sense out of it in the wake of a family tragedy. And the situation would, of course, be compounded if my wife and I both perished, and left the proverbial keys to the castle (along with our kids) to their guardian.
So… I wanted to create a centralized user-manual for my family’s finances but, since such a compendium would be full of very sensitive data, I wanted to store it in a secure location outside of our house. Sure, we have the requisite fire-proof lockbox, but I wanted an Ã¼ber-safe solution. So I stopped by our local bank branch and rented a 3″ high x 10″ wide x 24″ deep safe deposit box. It costs just over $30/year, and it should suit our needs perfectly. It’s plenty large to hold all of the necessary paperwork without having to fold it up and cram it in, as is necessary with some of the smaller boxes, and we’ll have a bit of room to spare for miscellaneous other things, like a video inventory of our house. Now all I have to do is find the time and inspiration to collect and collate all of the necessary information.