You often hear new parents exclaim: “I can’t believe I’m going to be responsible for another human.”
In general, I think this implies feeding, nurturing, bathing – simple life-sustaining needs.
But as the reality of babyhood sets in, I’ve realized there are other tasks that come with the job of parenthood. And some of them are not so pleasant not because they involve poop, but something worse: paperwork.
Here is a list of things I have thought of that need to be considered when bringing a new life into the world. Please note I am not an expert on them – just compiling a list of things in my head that I probably should look into soon.
1) Health Insurance – My understanding from a call to my insurance company is that you have to have a baby before you can get him on your health insurance. Otherwise I would do this in advance! But I suppose the reasoning makes sense given the worst case scenario. I think an infant is an additional $75 or so to our coverage each month, which seems reasonable considering how many doctors visits he will probably need. I believe the person told me we have 30 days to get him enrolled after birth.
2) A Will – This is probably even more important/complicated if you are not married to the baby’s father, but in most states married couples pass on all of their assets to their spouse upon death, and then their children when both spouses die, unless stated otherwise. [I think!] So for a married couple family of three, it seems a bit unnecessary at this point. But what if we all died? I think it’s probably time to create one…
3) Guardianship – Speaking of the awful topic of double death, who would care for the baby if Matt and I died? This paperwork seems unlikely, but if the worst were to happen….. Probably another thing to get in legal writing. Hopefully we could combine this with will writing.
4) Life Insurance – Thankfully we got life insurance last year, and since we knew we were planning to start trying soon, we pretended we had a baby when we talked through how much coverage we would need. Again, this is a hard topic to think about, but if you died and your husband/partner couldn’t take care of the baby because of work, how much would childcare cost? And for how many years?
5) College Savings Plan – More paperwork!! Probably something that can wait a little bit, but not too long since the sooner you get started the better.
You moms have been so helpful sharing your advice for pregnancy and parenting, but I would love some advice when it comes to the legal and paperwork stuff. If you’ve just gone through it, is there any way to make these tasks a bit easier to do? And am I missing anything big?
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