Starting a Family Checklist

Starting a Family Checklist

General information Yes No N/A
1. Has relevant personal information been gathered? image image image
2. Marital status?

  • Time frame for starting a family
image image image
3. Has financial situation been assessed?

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Assets
  • Debts and liabilities
  • Insurance information
  • Employee benefits available
image image image
Money management Yes No N/A
1. Have financial goals been determined or revised?

  • Short-term goals
  • Intermediate-term goals
  • Long-term goals
image image image
2. Has budget been updated to reflect changes in income and expenses?

  • Housing costs
  • Transportation costs
  • Food, clothing, and other household expenses
  • Health-care expenses
  • Life and disability insurance premiums
  • Adoption costs
  • Child-care costs
  • Temporary or permanent reduction in income if parent chooses to stay with child rather than work outside the home
image image image
3. Has an emergency reserve account equal to at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses been set aside? image image image
Insurance planning Yes No N/A
1. Has need for life insurance been evaluated? image image image
2. Have beneficiary choices been updated? image image image
3. Has the need for disability insurance been evaluated? image image image
4. Is health insurance coverage adequate?

  • Maternity costs
  • Labor and delivery costs
  • Changes to health-care providers
  • Health-care expenses, including premium costs, co-payments, coinsurance, coordination of benefits, and deductibles
  • Other employer-sponsored health plan options (if family coverage under other plan is better or more cost effective)
  • COBRA benefits if job loss is anticipated
image image image
Estate planning issues Yes No N/A
1. Have valid wills been executed or updated? image image image
2. Durable power of attorney or health-care proxy? image image image
3. Has guardian for child been chosen? image image image
4. Have other estate planning strategies been discussed?

  • Use of trusts
  • Gifting assets
image image image
Education planning Yes No N/A
1. Has need to start saving for college early been discussed? image image image
2. Have college savings options been outlined or considered?

  • Coverdell education savings accounts
  • Series EE bonds
  • Custodial accounts
  • Section 529 plans
  • Other savings/investment options
image image image
Retirement planning Yes No N/A
1. Have ways to resolve competing needs to save for retirement and a child’s education been discussed? image image image
Tax planning Yes No N/A
1. Have changes to federal and state income tax situation been discussed?

  • Additional exemptions
  • Child tax credit
  • Child and dependent care credit
  • Adoption credit
  • Use of flexible spending accounts
image image image
2. If child has already been born, has Social Security number been obtained? image image image
Other Yes No N/A
1. Has eligibility for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 been determined? image image image
2. Is paid leave available through state or employer (short-term disability benefits or other benefits)? image image image
3. Have child-care options been discussed? image image image
4. Adoption issues? Are adoption benefits through employer available? image image image