It is estimated that at least half of adults living in Florida and elsewhere in America don’t have a will. A will is a legal document that allows you to dictate where assets go or who will care for a minor child after you pass. Generally speaking, you should strongly consider creating such a document regardless of your net worth.

What to do before creating your will

The first step in creating a will is determining what you want it to accomplish. It is generally a good idea to think about who you would like to oversee your estate after you pass. Furthermore, you should create an inventory of assets and who would benefit the most from acquiring them in the future.

Your assets could include money in a bank account, an ownership interest in a business or a vehicle. You might also need to account for a home, boat or a stock portfolio when drafting your will.

The pitfalls of dying without a will

If you die without a will, state law generally determines who gets any money or other assets held in your estate. A judge may also appoint someone to care for your child, and this person may or may not be someone who you would trust to raise your son or daughter.

On its own, a will may be an effective estate planning tool, but it is generally one piece of an overall estate plan. It may be worthwhile to consult with an estate planning attorney to determine whether you should include a trust, beneficiary designations or other documents to your plan. Ideally, you will review your will regularly after it’s created. This can help to ensure that it still meets your needs after a divorce or death in the family.