Back in the old century, trust marketers learned that married folks took one of two approaches to estate planning:
The untutored left everything outright to their spouses.
The tutored set aside an amount equal to the available estate-tax credit in a bypass trust (income to spouse, remainder to kids) and left the rest to their spouses.
In reality, affluent married folks have been taking a different approach, according to financial planners asked to comment on the ill-fated PETRA. As yesterday's New York Times indicates, affluent marrieds have tended to use their available estate tax credits for direct bequests to the kids (middle-aged kids, typically).
Guess that's not surprising. In a good number of cases, John and Mary raised a family but John is now married to Jessica. His second wife is not too much older than his children.
Even if no pre-nup is involved, John is wise to leave the kids an inheritance at his death. To defer any payout until Jessica's death would scarcely make the kids fonder of their stepmother.
Because of these non-tax considerations, is it really likely that John would change his estate plan and leave everything to Jessica if PETRA became law? I doubt it.
Any contrary opinions?