Skip to content

    Health & Pregnancy

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Planning Ahead for Baby

    Pregnancy is a prime time to get your legal and financial affairs in order.
    By
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Just as you take your prenatal vitamins, eat healthfully, and avoid smoking and alcohol, there are other things that expectant moms and dads must take care of before baby's arrival. It's time to start planning for baby's legal and financial security, experts tell WebMD.

    "Now that you are bringing a newborn into this world, you must begin to get serious about your future and the future of your family, " says David P. Lesch, a lawyer at Lesch & Lesch PC in the Bronx, New York. "A little planning goes a long, long way," he says.

    Living Will to Protect Mom

    Such planning starts with a living will. "Say something happens during the birth, a living will ensures that your wishes are carried out," Lesch tells WebMD. "Having your wishes on a piece of paper protects you so that no one can say this isn't what you wanted."

    Another option is a health care proxy which gives someone else the right to make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot. "If have to have one, pick a living will, but if you don't want a living will, then a health care proxy is the next best option," says Lesch.

    A living will takes effect only when a person can no longer express his or her wishes. It clearly states which medical treatments may be used and which may not be. By contrast, a health care proxy names the person whom you designate to make such decisions for you.

    "The health care proxy is more flexible than the living will because it permits the designated individual to make decisions as specific situations arise," Lesch says. "The living will states the desired treatments and does not allow for events that were not predicted."

    Last Will and Testament to Protect Baby

    Having a legal will is important once you start a family, Lesch tells WebMD. "You can protect your own assets and pick someone to take care of your children if something happens," he says. Remember that "a person must be over 18 to be a guardian and take care of your child. Wait until your child is born healthy before you decide who should be the godparents or legal guardian."

    1 | 2 | 3

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
     
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
     
    slideshow fetal development
    Slideshow
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    Article
     
    What Causes Bipolar
    Video
    Woman trying on dress in store
    Slideshow
     
    pregnant woman
    Article
    Woman looking at pregnancy test
    Quiz
     
    calendar and baby buggy
    Tool
    dark chocolate squares
    Slideshow