You just had kids, now what?

Take these important planning steps early in pregnancy.

You’re living the dream. You’ve settled down and you’ve been planning for a baby financially. You’re expecting parents with a baby on the way or you’ve already started a family. Now what?! Planning for children might have you worrying—about everything. You start thinking about your child’s future and how to set yourself and your kids up for success down the road. You’re thinking about emergency situations and how to ensure everyone is taken care of. Because when you have kids, financial planning takes on a whole new meaning. 

New baby checklist

Congrats! Now that you have a new baby, the real fun begins. New humans need all kinds of new things when it comes to legal documents and healthcare. Here’s a quick baby paperwork checklist to keep in your back pocket:

  • Apply for social security number
  • Apply for child birth certificate
  • Gather all immunization records
  • Update your health insurance
  • Get insurance for children

If you’re asking questions like “how to get my child’s birth certificate?” and “when do I get my child a social security number?” look to government sites for all of the proper procedures and forms. Birth certificates can be requested at the state level. So, just search for your state’s government site to start the process.

Start family estate planning

You have a baby. You also have things. You have earnings, savings, belongings. You have “stuff” that you want to keep in the family. How do you do that? Create a will, or create a family trust.

When you create a will, you create a written statement that details your wishes regarding your assets. When you create a family trust, you create a plan that places your assets into a controlled trust fund. The difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes into effect only after you’re deceased, while a trust takes effect as soon as you create it and can be enacted while you are still alive.

It could be considered a little more expensive to create a living trust. Setting up and managing a trust might, however, have less involved when it comes to process. Beneficiaries generally receive their gifts according to trust instructions, and the trustor can still be living.

Whichever route you decide to take, you’ll want to consult a financial advisor to ensure all of your bases are covered.

Plan for the future

Life insurance may have been of little to no concern before marriage and children. Now, it’s a big deal! If a tragedy occurs, of course you’ll want to ensure that your loved ones are well taken care of. Here’s a list of things to do to make sure you’re all set in case of an emergency:

  • Purchase life insurance
  • Start emergency fund
  • Start saving for college
  • Plan post delivery budget

Everything changes, but that’s okay

The only thing that changes when you start a family is everything. You think about safety and security differently. You start to plan for your children’s financial security. You might even find yourself worrying about tragedies or disasters that never entered your mind before. But with some forethought and preparation, you can ease your worries and ensure your family is set up for success, no matter what the future holds.

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