With three little words (“it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl”), your whole life changes forever. Suddenly corners seem sharper and stairs seem steeper as new instincts take root. If you are planning on having a baby or are pregnant, consider the following tips to keep you documents organized and be as prepared as possible for your new bundle of joy.
Birth certificate and Social Security number for your newborn.
When your baby is born, you will receive a copy of the birth certificate the hospital or health care provider files with the state or county. The birth certificate gives details like the child’s name, date and time of birth, and the location of birth. It also provides names of the parents and the mother’s maiden name. You may have the option to complete paperwork for a Social Security number at the same time you apply for a birth certificate at the hospital or with your health care provider. If it’s not offered, follow the steps provided on socialsecurity.gov.
Add your baby to your health insurance within 30 days.
Once your baby is born, you will want to make sure they are covered under your health insurance as soon as possible. You will also want to make sure your health plan covers well-baby care, and if it doesn’t, consider extra coverage for vaccinations and appointments the baby will need. For more information, visit the United States Department of Labor.
Consider life and disability insurance.
Determine if term or whole life insurance makes sense for your family in the event something should happen to you or your spouse before your child is grown. Term life insurance is based on a period of time from one year to 30 years and pays the face amount of the policy. Whole life insurance tends to cost a little more and combines a term policy with an investment like bonds, money-market instruments, or stocks. Visit with your insurance agent to see what makes sense for your family.
Update your living will.
After your baby is born, you will need to update your will. In addition to adding your child as a beneficiary to your assets, you will need to name a guardian for your child. This will ensure that your child receives everything you intend for them from your Estate. Visit with an Attorney to answer any questions and get started.
Set up a flexible spending account or health savings account.
If your employer offers a flexible spending account, you can use that to pay medical expenses for you and your new baby—and sometimes childcare expenses—on a pre-tax basis. The contributions you make to a flexible spending account are deducted from your pay before your taxes are calculated. Health savings accounts are designed for individuals with qualifying high deductible health plans. For any questions about health savings accounts and to see if you qualify, call Hills Bank at 1-800-445-5725 (1-800-HILLSBK).
Meet with your tax professional.
The birth of your new baby provides a tax benefit for your family. Meet with your tax professional to adjust your withholdings at work, discuss dependency exemptions, and determine if a flexible spending or health savings account can benefit your family.
To all those parents, what other tips did you wish you knew as an expecting parent? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!