On the eve of your child's birth, choosing a guardian for the baby if something happens to you is not an enjoyable prospect; however, you will sleep better knowing that you have thought about the future.
Guardianship: After you have decided on a guardian, create a will by consulting a lawyer or finding a do-it-yourself kit, such as Quicken's WillMaker Plus. You can also look into a revocable living trust to help protect your assets after you die.
Life insurance: If you do not already have life insurance, plan to get it as soon as you find out you're expecting. Many young families like term life policies, usually sold in 10-, 20- or 30-year terms. You can often get better deals by going through companies individually rather than through your employer—check the numbers.
Changing beneficiaries: Collect the phone numbers of your life insurance and retirement savings companies. Once the baby arrives, call to add him or her to the policy. Often your spouse will remain the secondary beneficiary and the baby will be the tertiary beneficiary.
Durable power of attorney for healthcare: Many hospitals offer a fill-in-the-blank form when you preregister for delivery that allows you to say who you want to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot. Take the hour or so to fill it in and get it signed by witnesses. Fortunately, today's advances in medicine mean very few women experience life-threatening complications during labor and delivery. However, it still is wise to take precautions. In addition, this document will apply for any situation in the future.
If thinking about all these issues seems daunting, it is—but just consider it practice for your new, imminent responsibility. After a few months, such maturity will seem second nature. And don't forget to stow away the numbers of two other important people for a few months after you give birth: your pedicurist and a masseuse!