The bypass trust, also known as the credit shelter trust, the family trust and the “B” trust, has been the foundation of estate planning for married couples since before I started practicing law. Prior to 2011, such a trust was necessary to ensure that the applicable exclusion amount of the first spouse to die wasn't wasted. Otherwise, if all of such spouse's assets were transferred to the surviving spouse in a manner that qualified for the marital estate tax deduction, they would be ...

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