Trusts & Estates: Defrocking Dacey

A year ago, Estate Planner Norman Dacey, 59, found a pleasant way of enriching his own estate. He wrote a paperback book called How to Avoid Probate, and readers anxious to do just that turned it into a surprise bestseller (700,000 copies). His handiwork was 55 pages of advice and lawyer criticism, plus 310 pages of do-it-yourself forms that could be used to evade the estate-gobbling process that probate sometimes involves. Lawyers were incensed. As they saw it, Dacey's all-purpose forms took scanty account of the widely varying laws of the 50 states. The American Bar Association disapproved the book...

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