Trained as a lawyer and CPA, Bob Carlson shares his original estate planning research on the pages of Retirement Watch.
I’ve never been a big fan of offshore trusts and other exotic strategies to protect your assets from lawsuits and creditors. They are expensive, you might have to deal with questionable people, and it is not even clear the strategies really work. Some recent cases show that these strategies don’t exactly build a rock-solid fortress. […]
It’s time I had a talk with the business owners out there. The sad fact is that, even if you follow all the estate planning advice I give, few of those businesses will survive to benefit your children. And a scant few will benefit your grandchildren. But that doesn’t have to happen. Lack of preparation […]
It doesn’t take much to ruin a great estate plan. Many great plans, completed with careful work and good intentions, turn to disasters because of one simple decision – the wrong trustee was selected. Instead of being grateful that their parents and grandparents worked hard to provide for them, heirs become bitter and even resentful. […]
A good solution to many estate planning and asset protection problems is a trust. In past visits I’ve told you about many different types of trusts and the problems they can solve. But what I haven’t focused on is where to set up your trust. This question is almost as important as the type of […]
I keep scratching for traps in the new Roth IRAs. Surely Congress and the President wouldn’t create a vehicle with a genuine incentive to save and invest, I cynically think. But it is tough to find a major trap in the Roth IRA. In fact, there seem to be many attractive ways to use Roth […]
Leave it to the law to make an unpleasant situation worse. Here’s one they didn’t teach in law school, but you need to know about it. We only stumbled upon it when Renee and I were reviewing our own estate planning. An unfortunate combination of events could lead to an unpleasant surprise for grandparents who […]
You can get a discount of 30%, sometimes more, on estate and gift taxes by setting up a family limited partnership. That’s a tremendous discount. And the family limited partnership has advantages in addition to tax reduction. A strategy with so many benefits is bound to attract the IRS’s attention, and that has happened in […]