What documents does a new parent need?

Great article here on The Washington Post about this topic. With so much going on as a new parent, the forms and logistics can often slide to the back of your mind. No bueno.

The items:

Birth Certificate: No brainer. Here are the vital records centers in Massachusetts.

Social Security Card: Cool thing is that you can apply right at the hospital.

Will: Depressing, yes, but once you have a child, you absolutely need one.

Guardianship document: Here are some questions to consider.

Letter of instruction: This is similar to the above; it’s essentially guidelines for how you want your child raised in the unlikely event you die.

Trusts: Also called “trust funds” and generally associated with the affluent, but not just for the affluent. (Although if you have a high net worth, it allows you to pass down money without as much taxation.)

Beneficiary change form: Most important thing to note here is that beneficiaries listed here override what’s in your will.

Life insurance policy: It’s a new life. Might as well insure it, right?

Health insurance card/policy: Add the new child to your insurance.

Immunization records: This is important for both (a) travel and (b) when you need to start applying to school.

529 account: This is how you start saving for college, and you can often do it for as little as a penny. Here’s some info on Fidelity’s MA 529 plan.

Any other forms we’re missing?

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