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 263 Articles.
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How to Save Your Estate Plan

September 1, 2008

Too often what seems like a great estate plan fails to achieve its goals. Sometimes the execution is wrong. Other times the owner failed to take one or more key steps. One often-overlooked step is to ensure that the estate prevails in any audit by the IRS or state tax authorities. Estate tax returns are […]


7 Safe Ways to Give Wealth

August 1, 2008

Gift giving is the surest way to reduce estate taxes, help loved ones of all ages, and establish a legacy. Yet, many people are hesitant to make significant gifts to loved ones, because of the potential pitfalls. Those pitfalls, however, can be avoided with some shrewd and creative strategies to give wealth. Potential givers see […]

What is Your Estate Plan Missing?

July 1, 2008

Many people believe that a will and a trust or two is an estate plan. Others think that a living trust or joint title with a spouse is all they need. That is why most estate plans are woefully incomplete. There is much more to an estate plan. Heirs and loved ones often suffer from […]


How to Avoid Rags to Riches to Rags

July 1, 2008

The pattern for family wealth seems fixed. Different times and different cultures display the same pattern. The first generation builds wealth, and the second generation shepherds or preserves it. The third and succeeding generations spend until it is dissipated. There are a few examples of families in which wealth lasted many generations but many more […]


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Simple Strategies to Shield Assets

June 1, 2008

Lawsuits, accidents, and other unexpected events can put personal assets at risk of loss. Many people seek ways to protect their assets from lawsuits and creditors. While there are expensive asset protection packages offered by various finance professionals, there are much simpler ways to protect most assets that should be implemented before considering the more […]


How Markets Affect Estate Plans

June 1, 2008

In our visits the last couple of months we discussed how declining asset markets and interest rates affect estate planning. Since then, treasury interest rates appear to have hit a bottom. It is time to look at a few strategies that will produce greater tax benefits when interest rates are higher. Some estate planning strategies […]


Unitrusts and Your Estate Plan

June 1, 2008

Once upon a time all trusts were annuity trusts or income trusts. As the economy and markets changed, these trusts failed to meet their creators’ goals and often caused problems. To solve the problems, the unitrust was created. Like all financial planning solutions, the unitrust is good but not the tool for all situations. Estate […]


How Market Fluctuations Create Planning Opportunities

May 1, 2008

Few people realize changes in the markets and economy affect estate plans. The changes create opportunities. Strategies that were not viable or were borderline in the past will preserve more wealth today. When the markets or interest rates change significantly, it is a good idea to meet with an estate planner and take a fresh […]

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