My wife and I recently gave birth to our daughter, Elle! She is our first child, and we are getting a crash course in all the modern baby products and AI driven gadgets, promising to make parenthood a breeze – I’m not holding my breath! While it may seem like there is no time for anything other than feeding and changing diapers, below are some important items to consider to protect your family financially, and invest in their future.


  • Life Insurance - The main reason for life insurance is to protect those people in your life that depend on you financially. Common considerations in determining how much insurance is needed include amounts to cover:
    • Mortgage/Student loans/Other debt.
    • Five to ten years of income replacement.
    • Future education costs.

  • Disability Insurance – Replaces a portion of your income if you can’t work for an extended period due to illness or injury.

Estate documents:

  • Wills: The most important reason to put wills in place is to name guardians for your minor children in the event both parents pass away. Choosing guardians for children can be a very difficult decision to make and is a big responsibility to place on someone. However, if you do not name guardians, and you both pass away, you leave that decision up to a judge.

  • Wills can also include provisions to provide for beneficiaries with special needs, and or address other unique family situations. Wills should be reviewed and updated periodically as wealth and family circumstances change.

  • Healthcare Proxy: Used to name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

  • Durable Power of Attorney: Authorize someone to handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.

Investing in Their Future:

  • 529 Plans – Tax-advantaged accounts used to save and invest for education. Some benefits include:
    • Tax-free withdrawals if used for higher education expenses - tuition, room and board, textbooks, etc.
    • NYS tax deduction for the first $10,000 deposited into the account - for married filing jointly.
    • Transferrable between children - if you do not use the full balance on your first child, the balance can be transferred to another child or grandchild.
    • Contributions can be made by anyone on behalf of the child - i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

  • UTMA/UGMA – Taxable brokerage accounts that allow adults to save and invest for the benefit of a minor beneficiary. Some important features of these accounts include:
    • Money can be used for any purpose (including education).
    • The minor beneficiary is entitled to full control of the account at age 18 or 21 (differs by state).
    • Income generated in the account is taxable to the minor beneficiary – Kiddie Tax may apply!

  • Roth IRAs – As children get older, look for opportunities to save in a Roth IRA in their name. If a child has “earned income” you (or they) can contribute to a Roth IRA. Sometimes self-employed parents even put their kids on their payroll so they can save in a Roth.
    • Saving in your own Roth IRA can also be a good method of saving for college because these accounts give you the ability to pull out your contributions tax and penalty free.
    • For example, if you contributed $30,000 to the Roth IRA and over the course of five years that balance grew to $40,000, you can withdraw $30,000 tax and penalty free. These contributions could be put towards your child’s college education or for your retirement.