Some New Yorkers that have drafted wills in the past mistakingly believe that once these documents are written, they don’t have to do anything more. Since both the law and life itself often involves change, failing to revisit a previously drafted will may have unintended consequences for the testator’s family.
One holdover in many people’s wills is the inclusion of bypass trust provisions. These trusts were often included in wills when the estate tax exclusion amount was at $675,000. When a spouse died, assets were passed to the trust instead of the survivor, and the transfer to the trust was a taxable event. This helped people avoid estate taxes.