A lifetime trust shall be irrevocable unless it expressly provides that it is revocable. . . .
So, the analysis is not whether the trust says it is "irrevocable." Rather, does the trust say or do its terms indicate that it is "revocable"?
As a drafting best practice, I think trusts should explicitly state whether they are revocable or irrevocable, but under EPTL 7-1.16, stating that a trust is irrevocable isn't necessary.
EPTL 7-1.16 became effective June 25, 1997.
Recently, the New York State Bar Association's Trusts and Estate Law Section (TESL) rejected a proposal to change the default rule regarding the irrevocability of trust.
Section 7-A-6.2(a) was proposed, which read:
Section 7-A-6.2 Revocation or Amendment of Revocable Trust
(a) Unless the terms of a trust expressly provide that the trust is irrevocable, the settlor may revoke or amend the trust. This subdivision does not apply to a trust created under an instrument executed before [the effective date of [this Article]].
The TELS determined not to modify the long-standing rule of New York law, codified in EPTL 7-1.16, that a trust is presumed to be irrevocable unless the trust terms expressly provides that it is revocable, and therefore recommends that section 7-A-6.2(a) as proposed by the 6th Report be deleted. . . .
So, irrevocable trusts are likely to stay the default in New York. A settlor can aopt-out by explicitly stating that the trust is revocable.