Earlier we covered wills as a necessary legal document for ensuring that your personal effects are distributed as you intend after you pass. Beyond a will, there are a few other important estate planning issues you should consider.
Non- Probate Assets
Non-probate assets include entities like IRAs and pension plans. These will pass along to designated beneficiaries separately from the will. Remember to update your beneficiaries if any major life event occurs.
Advanced Healthcare Directive
Consider setting up an advanced healthcare directive in case you become incapacitated and others need to make difficult medical decisions on your behalf. This directive could designate another person to consent to your medical treatment, services, or procedures. This directive is also commonly used to designate someone to make end-of-life decisions for you if you are not able to do so.
The Digital Estate
The term "digital estate" refers to data that can be inherited; digital assets as opposed to physical ones (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_estate). One side of this issue is linked to the rise of Facebook and social networking sites. People have had to confront what happens to their online presence when they die. Would you want your Facebook account to die with you, or would you want it to continue on as an online memorial? If something happened to you, who would you entrust with your internet passwords? Would you want to entrust someone to announce your death to all of your online friends who may not have heard? For those with online lives, these are some important questions.
At this time, only a few states have enacted laws with regard to digital estate planning,
Erik M.P. Black