NU Online News Service, March 27, 3:14 p.m. – Americans still have a hard time talking to children and other heirs about estate planning, according to results of a new survey sponsored by Zurich Scudder Investments Inc., New York,

Zurich Scudder, which conducted the survey to help promote its AARP investment program, found that 72% of the 1,000 U.S. adults it interviewed in December 2001 said that leaving an inheritance was important.

But the researchers found that only 40% of the participants reported having any discussions with heirs about estate planning.

Sixty-three percent of the participants who had had such discussions had talked about beneficiary designations, but only 40% told heirs about the reasons for their estate-planning decisions, and only 39% told heirs the names of the financial planners and other professionals who had helped them with the estate planning.

Moreover, only 44% of adult American have written lists describing their assets.

Zurich Scudder is a unit of Zurich Financial Services Group, Zurich.