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Health & Pregnancy

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Planning Ahead for Baby

Pregnancy is a prime time to get your legal and financial affairs in order.

Last Will and Testament to Protect Baby continued...

"Depending on your assets," Lesch says, "you may want to create a trust that provides for college education and your child's future as well as name a trustee to dole out the money."

By definition, a trust is a legal arrangement in which an individual gives control of property to a person or institution for the benefit of beneficiaries in this case, your offspring.

For example, you can state 'I want my child to have XX amount of money by age 18 for education, then the rest by time he or she is 30," he says. This way the guardian knows what to do with your money. "If you don't have a lawyer, get a lawyer to do your living will before delivery and your regular will fairly quickly after the baby is born to protect your baby," he says.

Health Insurance for Baby

"You really should be adding the baby to your health plan immediately upon birth because he or she will have a lot of medical expenses during the first year. You want to make sure that they are covered," Lesch says. Take a look at your policy before birth and determine what services are covered and how much the deductible is. Also, "any time you bring your child to a doctor, you yourself should document what the doctor is doing, which tests are taken, the results and when follow-up tests are needed," says Lesch, who has a great deal of experience in medical malpractice law. Speaking from personal and professional experience, Jared L. Gurfein, a New York city-based lawyer, cautions new parents to go over all medical bills with a fine-tooth comb.

"Often the hospital or the insurer (or both) will make an error that, if not checked, could result in large bills," he tells WebMD. "It is critical for parents to monitor the statements from both the medical provider and the insurer to see if any portion of the bills appear to be unpaid."

Also, he says, don't wait for the provider to send you a bill. "When you see your insurer has denied something that should be covered, immediately call the insurer and the administrator at the provider's office and bring it to their attention," he says.

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