This blog recently reported on the mishaps that celebrities made in estate planning and how Florida residents can learn from those mistakes. This week's annual celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. brought attention to the fact that he never made a will before he died.

King's family is currently battling his 86-year-old former secretary over possession of documents that the secretary says King wanted her to have. His family however, says the notes belong to King's estate, which his family controls. The documents include a note from civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Had King made a will, he could have specified who he wanted to have possession of the documents.

For the 55 percent of adult Americans who don't have a will, the start of 2012 is the perfect time to resolve to make important estate planning decisions, including a will. One estate planning expert said that many adults put off making a will because they can't bring themselves to make the crucial decisions, such as power of attorney and custody if there are any minor children.

When choosing a guardian, one expert recommends choosing the first person who comes to mind when one thinks of a guardian. Usually the person who seems like the best fit is.

When naming beneficiaries, it's also important to keep a will updated. For example, parents of minor children will name another adult as a beneficiary, but should remember to name their child once they reach an appropriate age to handle an inheritance responsibly, if that's what they want to do.

While not everyone had as many prized assets as King, it does not mean that every adult should not take the time to make a will and plan for the future. There is no time like the present.

Source: Forbes, "A Common Sense Approach to Estate Planning," Nancy Anderson, Jan. 19, 2012