A Worrying Question about a Gun Safe....

…a friend has an elderly relative who has all his important papers - will, house deed, car titles, jewelry, etc. - plus hunting rifles, of course - locked up in a big ‘fireproof’ gun safe. He has a key to it on his key ring, and there’s a combination lock, and of course this man has it committed to memory and it isn’t written down, and of course it’s “no one’s business” what the combination is. He’s 87, for cryin’ out loud, not in great health, and everything important is in that safe. If he dies, what should the family do? Call a locksmith, or the makers of the safe, or what? He has a wife who thinks maybe she should get him to open it and take the stuff and put it into a safety deposit box, but when she brings up the subject it gets ignored or he refuses to let valuable/important things leave the house! If he dies - what should she do?

Locksmiths can open it.

A good locksmith can open it although it may take some drilling and cost a fair amount. Those types of safes aren’t built for maximum security anyway.

It is a problem when an older person refuses to give up control.
One glimmer of hope, is that the physical policy is not necessary to file a life insurance claim. If you can get the names of the company(s) they can search to find the policy. If you can copy down the policy number then it is even easier, just one extra form to fill out with the death claim.

A good locksmith can pop a gun safe easily. I’d let the wife know that you know what to do, and leave it at that. If he dies without telling anybody the combination, the wife can call you and you can take a bit of the burden off her at a time she needs it.

If the dial is locked (the key) it may be that he is only using the “Day Lock” feature of the combo lock.
That would be the easiest way to use it. Make sure you know how to operate the day lock or you could fully lock it.
For crying out loud! he is 87, My bet he has it written down somewhere anyway.
Don’t attempt to crack it yourself as even some of the cheaper gun safes have a re-locker that if tripped will make pealing nessesary.

If? Has anyone asked the codger what he thinks the answer to this question is?

The answer, far as I know, is “let 'em call a locksmith”!

All righty then!

I’m going to tell my friend to call some locksmiths with a description of the safe and an idea of how much it costs to crack the sucker open, if that’s what it comes to.