We may not be subjects of the British crown, but there's no denying that news of Kate Middleton's pregnancy and the royal baby has got Americans excited.
For our neighbors across the pond, this baby will one day be king or queen of England. The Duchess of Cambridge doesn't have to deal with American laws, but if she did, there are certainly some legal issues she'd be facing in the upcoming weeks.
And while the popular book "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is full of useful information, it doesn't include the legal ins and outs of having a baby. To make sure you're covered, we've listed some of them here:
- Health insurance coverage. A healthy pregnancy involves a lot of prenatal doctor visits just to make sure everything is on track. If there are complications, you'll need even more time at the doctor's office. Find out now what your insurance will cover in terms of prenatal care and delivery so you have time to decide if you need extra coverage.
- Employment policies. Once you're comfortable telling people at work about your pregnancy, your first stop should be Human Resources to find out your company's policies. Under federal law, all women are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off when having a baby, but your policy may allow for more than that. If the policy seems skimpy, ask the experts at FindLaw Answers' Hiring, Firing and Discrimination Forum about whether you should be concerned.
- Updating your will. If you didn't have a will before, now is definitely the time to do it. When you have children it's more important than ever to have a written will. Even if you don't have much in the way or money and assets to pass down, your will can also stipulate who will care for your child if you're unable to do it. If you need help making sure it's legally binding, talk to a lawyer about it.
- Hiring help. You don't have to go it alone when it comes to taking care of your child. You may want to hire a nanny or a housecleaner just to help with some of the work. But if you're going to employ household help, make sure you do it legally. You may be legally obligated to withhold taxes and pay overtime, so make sure you're clear on your responsibilities
- Saving for the future. You probably have big dreams for your baby even if that baby hasn't yet been born. Putting money aside to make those dreams come true is an incredible gift you can start for your baby before you know if it's a boy or a girl. If you're not sure whether a college savings plan or a general trust would be best, talk to a financial planner or a tax attorney about how to get the most out of your money.