Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Trained as a lawyer and CPA, Bob Carlson shares his original estate planning research on the pages of Retirement Watch.

Found 168 Articles.
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6 Estate Planning Strategies Most Affected by Interest Rates Changes

March 23, 2018

It still comes as a surprise to so many retirees… The outcome of key estate planning strategies often hinges on fluctuations in interest rates. So clearly, changes in rates should sway the choice, or timing, of these strategies. Some estate planning strategies generate more benefits when interest rates are low, while others provide more benefits […]


The Revocable Living Trust “Transition Strategy”

February 23, 2018

Last week, we reviewed the pros and cons of the Power of Attorney and Revocable Living Trust (click here for Part 1). For retirees who choose the revocable living trust, it’s important to understand all the options available. For starters, after identifying your trusted person, establish a revocable living trust naming the person as current […]


Power of Attorney vs. Living Trust: Pros & Cons

February 16, 2018

Which is the best way to protect your assets, smooth the transition of your estate, and make life easier for you and your heirs… Power of attorney or revocable living trust? Truth is, most estate plans need both a power of attorney and a revocable living trust. So the better question is:  Which one should cover the bulk of your assets? Over the […]


Everything You Need to Know About Bypass Trusts & Irrevocable Trusts

December 22, 2017

Many observers think two popular kinds of trusts will no longer be needed. They’re wrong… in fact, these two trusts are as valuable as ever! Benefits that once were considered ancillary now are important to many estates. Though no longer created primarily for estate tax reduction, these two trusts can be essential to reaching other estate planning […]

The 6 Biggest Risks to your Retirement

What you don’t know about retirement can hurt you. In fact, just a few wrong decisions in your investments, taxes, or estate planning could completely derail your retirement plans. Worse yet, the rules of the game keep changing, making it harder to keep up with. For these reasons, I’ve assembled all the key points – everything you need to know — into one comprehensive report. Click here for free access.


6 Gifting Tips for Your Estate Plan

November 10, 2017

Fact: people make mistakes in their gift giving. It’s not surprising. The rules on estate planning gifts are tricky. By learning the tricks, though, you can increase the after-tax wealth available to you and your loved ones. Reducing federal estate taxes no longer is the main motivation most of us have for making gifts, because […]


Retirement Strategy: How to Transfer Real Estate to Family

November 3, 2017

Some assets require special estate planning. One such asset is what I sometimes call heirloom real estate, or family real estate. This is a property that’s been in the family for a while and that you’d like to continue in family ownership. Heirloom real estate includes vacation homes or other second homes, farms, a longtime […]


How to Create an Estate Planning Strategy in 8 Steps

September 15, 2017

Last week, we began our 8-point estate planning checklist, including how to handle your will, and avoiding probate. Today we’ll complete the checklist, starting with… Powers of attorney. You need these documents before you have a will, because you’re likely to become disabled or need help managing affairs before you pass away. There are two […]


Should You Put Your Estate Planning Strategy On Hold? (8-Point Checklist)

September 8, 2017

Tax reform proposals are slowly being developed in Congress, including changes in the estate tax. People are asking, “Should I delay my estate planning until the new law is clear?” We’ve been down this road before, and the answer is: You shouldn’t delay. Congress is looking at changing only the federal estate and gift taxes, […]

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