Trained as a lawyer and CPA, Bob Carlson shares his original estate planning research on the pages of Retirement Watch.
The IRS continues to lose important cases on the valuation of closely-held business interests. Only a few years ago the IRS stopped arguing that family members who receive less than 50% ownership of a business cannot take discounts for owning a less-than-controlling interest in the business and also for a lack of marketability, if the […]
Gift-giving season is on the way. Many people use this time of year to make not only the traditional holiday gifts, but also to make gifts as part of their estate plans. Annual gifts are a powerful part of any estate plan. If you are going to make gifts, you might as well get the […]
Trusts aren’t just for the super wealthy anymore. IRS statistics show that the average trust has about $250,000 in it, not exactly Rockefeller territory. That’s because many people have learned that trusts can be useful for even middle class families. One way to use a trust is to build a legacy that will last for […]
When I was growing up in suburban northern Virginia, near our home in the midst of the developing sprawl was a large, untouched tract of land in a prime location. Despite the obvious money to be made in developing the land, it sat for a couple of decades. Throughout northern Virginia, similar tracts could be […]
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. For these reasons, I’ve assembled all the key points – everything you need to know — into one comprehensive report. Click here today for free access.
Grandparents and their adult children agree: A critical concern for both is how to pay for the education of the grandchildren. The grandparents, of course, can help. By using the tax law effectively, you can help pay for a grandchild’s schooling with the lowest cash outlay possible. Last year, Congress created the Education IRA. These […]
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 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. […]
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 […]