Living wills are a critical aspect of protecting yourself when setting advanced directives during estate planning. Interestingly, a new study finds that there is a surprising group of individuals who have not set a plan in the event that they are incapacitated: hospice workers.

According to a recent study from the Florida Atlantic University, 52 percent of hospice workers have not set up their advanced directives. The study, which was released last month, studied 890 healthcare providers at a nonprofit. Overall, about one-third of all Americans have advanced directives in place.

The reasons for estate-planning anxiety

Choosing who will make decisions for you when you are incapacitated is a key aspect of estate planning. According to an estate planning expert the four main reasons people put off estate planning are:

  • Time concerns
  • Confusion over estate planning
  • The belief that they don’t having an estate
  • Fear of death

This last point, fear, is also noted as one of the primary reasons more than half of hospice workers have not taken this step.

The reason doesn’t matter

When you take a close look at the numbers available, it is clear that not enough people are taking the time to protect themselves. For most Americans, should they become incapacitated, their families would be responsible for making the medical decisions. What happens when two well-meaning family members disagree about the correct course of action? The stress of that kind of conflict isn’t something that should be left up to chance.

If you are grappling with anxiety over advanced directives or estate planning in general, contact an estate planning attorney to discuss your options.