6 Legal Steps for New Parents

By NYSBA Lawyer Referral Service

December 19, 2022

6 Legal Steps for New Parents


By NYSBA Lawyer Referral Service


Important legal steps for bringing home your child

Health Insurance
One of the most important steps when brining home your new bundle of joy is updating your health insurance to include the new baby.

The majority of health insurance companies allow the child to be added to the insurance policy after the birth, regardless of whether it is during an open enrollment period.

It is crucial that you do this in a timely fashion, as most policies will only all you to add a new child for 30-days after the birth.

Update Beneficiaries
Many parents have insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc, that include a designated beneficiary. It is common for the spouse to be listed as the primary beneficiary, but it can be helpful to update these documents and list the new child as a contingent beneficiary.

This means that if your spouse (or other primary beneficiary) dies before you, the child will be the beneficiary of the policy.


No one wants to think about the worst case scenario – but it is important to plan for it.

If you and the child’s other parent were to suffer serious injury or death, it is important to have a plan for who will be your child’s legal guardian.


Update Your Estate Plan
At its most basic, estate planning is the process of anticipating and planning for what should happen to your estate when you die.

An estate plan will typically include one, or more, of the following legal documents:

medical directive,
power of attorney,
living trust.
A will is the most commonly known and most commonly utilized legal document. The last will and testament ensures that your wishes are legally enforceable after your death. For example, it will include information on how your assets should be divided and plans for your child’s care and education.

A power of attorney (both a medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney) allow your wishes to be carried out if you have not passed away, but are deemed incompetent to make decision on your own behalf.

Consult An Attorney
All of the information above is helpful, but an attorney can give you advice based on your specific legal situation and can also help to draft all of these documents.

If you’d like to be connected with a trusted family or estate planning attorney on our panel, submit a request.

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