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(Reuters)

The Sad State of Estate Planning: Why Only 34% Have a Will in Place

Retirement Planning LearnVest

So you consider yourself a planner, do you?

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You may have your annual checkups booked through December, funds set aside for that European trip next summer, and a family calendar color-coded to the T.

But getting your estate plans settled?

Not so much.

Tasks like creating a will or naming guardians have a tendency to fall off the to-do list for many of us—even the most organized.

New survey results from Everplans confirm it: while 69% say they’ve seriously considered drafting a will, just 34% have actually done so.

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More than one in four people who say they’re in charge of handling estate plans admit they’re not doing a good job of preparing for the unexpected. And among those not in charge, half feel it’d be a struggle to get all the necessary documents together.

Even fewer people are broaching the topic of eldercare arrangements; only one in four have a solid plan in place.

Despite this reluctance to take action, 87% of parents say it’s important to discuss estate matters with their children.

So what’s holding them back?

Turns out, it’s not necessarily because discussing end-of-life plans is a taboo topic—only 18% avoid the discussion because it’s too depressing.

Instead, a lack of financial know-how seems to be the main culprit. A whopping 95% agree that services and access to information about creating estate plans would help them take action.

Looking for some such guidance? Before a heart-to-heart with your parents, read up on how best to approach five eldercare questions everyone should ask.

More from LearnVest:
A Family Affair: 6 Tips for Having the Estate Planning Talk
For the Love of Family: 6 Tales of Estate Planning Gone Wrong
Covering Your Assets: 7 Common Estate Planning Mistakes People Make