Post # 1
I am 10 weeks + 2 days but I have been brainstorming lately about all the really important things that need to happen before baby arrives. One thing I thought of, but have heard nothing about from anyone else, is creating a will. We don’t have just a ton of assets to speak of, but it seems important to decide who will care for the baby if (God forbid!) we were both to die.
Did any of you do this, or are you planning to? When did you do it? Was it complicated?
Post # 3
Remember, if something happens to both of you at once, a judge makes the choice of where your child goes, they may or may not follow your choices. With a will, you will be essentially writing a letter to a judge about your recommendations and why you want other people specifically excluded to care for your child. It’s a tough thing to do because you absolutely have to be brutal about why you want certain people excluded. No one will see those letters except the judge and maybe the attorney you assign to handle your will.
I’ve redone mine every year or every few years as life situations have changed. Do and I just redid ours yesterday.
Post # 4
You can do a will online at legalzoom.com or a dozen other similar sites; it’s pretty easy and might not address more complicated decisions such as complex financial assets, but for most folks it gets the job done. I have been writing a will ever since I was about 25 (after a good friend of mine passed away and left no will— he didn’t have a lot of assets but he did have some, and the end-of-life decisions were very painful for his family) and I update it every year or two, or as my situation changes.
You should do an advanced directive/living will at the same time, which helps convey your wishes regarding advanced life support, should you not be able to make those decisions for yourself. It is a huge emotional burden for your loved ones to have to decide if you should remain on life support and, if so, for how long. Relieving them of this burden is one of the kindest things you can do.
Post # 5
Honestly, I would probably wait to do the will until right after baby is born (but I would do an advanced directive prior to birth to have on file with hospital if necessary). You will need identifying information for the child (full name, DOB, SS#), you will need to know who you want to take possession of the child, and you will need to know who you want to be the trustee of the trust you set up for the child (may or may not be the same person). I know you can do this on legalzoom, but its pretty important. I’d talk to a lawyer.
Post # 6
DH and I have talked about this and will be drafting a will when our baby is born.
Post # 7
Our child is almost 2 and we need to get on the ball. We have a spoken agreement as to who is to have custody of our daughter should we both pass, but things change once you actually die and it would be nice to have an official “plan of action”.
I think this was my sign to get the ball rolling.
Post # 8
We’re working on ours before the baby is born. My dad is a lawyer, so we talked to him about it, and he’s having one of his partners help us. We’re declaring a guardian if we both die, and we also set up a trust for the baby with an executor. Of course, if we die anytime soon, the trust will have approximately $7 in it, but this way we’re planning for the future and don’t need to change it constantly. In fact, I think we’re including a provision that future children would be included. Just seems like a good idea to have taken care of, and the less we have to worry about after the baby is born, the better.
Post # 10
@missrain: yes we did this. it is important if you have a child.
Post # 11
We’ve uped our life insurance policies and have already designated my parents as her guardians. We plan to have all but exact birth info ready to go so we can finish it once she is here. I think those who don’t think about these things when they havd kids are setting themselves up for bad situations if the worst happens.
Post # 12
We have financial advisors that we work with & we met with them when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I asked about putting our estate into a living trust & getting things set for baby’s arrival. They said that once baby comes we’ll get together and work out all of those things. So I’m thinking this spring after baby girl is here we’ll work out all of those things.
Post # 13
I think you should definitely have one, even if it’s just for who should have custody of your child. The gals I work with have kids in daycare, and if something were to happen to both parents the daycare will not release the child to anyone but social services without a will or formal document indicating who gets temporary custody.
Post # 14
@missrain: Yes this is on our to-do list, although we probably won’t get it done until after baby arrives. It’s so important to have all of those legal matters worked out. We also need to do advanced directives, though DH and I have discussions so we are aware of each others wishes. Not a fun topic, but definitely important. We were actually just talking the other day about our wishes if it came down to a situation where only myself or the baby could be saved. So depressing.
@tksjewelry: Do you mind if I ask appx. how much it costs to have one written up?
Post # 15
Depending on your state, it may be legal to make one through a will-making program (I have Quicken’s “WillMaker.”). Excellent program, IMO, that covers things like guardianship after your death. As far as my research has taken me, it’s legal even if it’s not filed with the probate courts…however, I do need a notary to sign off on the paperwork (in MY state, of course. Big disclaimer there. Research state and county laws first).
Post # 16
I didn’t make a will, but we both got life insurance after I became pregnant.