The youngest members of the baby boomer generation are entering their 50s this year, which means a large percentage of the population in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States is nearing or has reached retirement age.

Although people are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, it’s still important to consider elder law issues that could arise suddenly and without warning. Getting a solid estate plan in place can help protect baby boomers and their families from financial struggles that are common later in life.

In a helpful article on our website entitled “How to Make Sound Decisions That Preserve Dignity,” we discuss several estate planning tips that should be considered by baby boomers and their families as they prepare for their later years.

For those who don’t have time to read the entire article, here are two main points to take away:

Going without an estate plan can expose the entire family to financial risks. Entire savings accounts can be easily wiped-out by medical conditions or nursing home living. Tools such as Medicaid planning or long-term care insurance can help protect individuals and their families from the financial devastation that can result from serious or chronic health problems — or even just old age.

Estate planning doesn’t have to be expensive or complex; even a basic plan can meet an individual’s goals and help his or her family move forward with life. Some of the basic estate planning necessities include a will, health care directive and a financial power of attorney. Without an estate plan in place, the probate court will determine what happens to the individual’s assets when they pass away, which often leads to stress and conflict.

Baby boomers who are interested in exploring their estate planning options should seek the guidance and expertise of an estate planning lawyer in their area.