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January wrap-up: aging stories and new Alzheimer’s disease indicators

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Month one- DONE! We’re in our final days of January 2024. The elder law hot topics this month include aging, a 93 year old rowing champion, decluttering, and new Alzheimer’s disease indicators.

Stories on Aging

Here at Fleming & Curti, PLC we talked about Swedish Death Cleaning. Margareta Magnusson popularized the idea in a book where she recapped how to declutter your life using the somewhat brutal question- will anyone want this after I die? After the book’s success, checklists, strategies, and decluttering videos using the method were everywhere. Our take? It’s a good idea to get rid of stuff no one wants, especially if no one wants it. Physical property can be a burden to your loved ones and it can take them a long time to go through it all. Don’t get rid of the stuff people legitimately want or the stuff that you still use, but if you’re willing to part with it and no one really wants it- it may be time to let it go. The same author came out with another book two years ago called “The Swedish Art of Ageing exuberantly: Life Wisdom from Someone who Will (probably) Die Before You.” Her tips for aging include surrounding yourself with people younger than you and embracing “kärt besvär.”

The internet was taken with Richard Morgan this month- a 93 year old four-time rowing champion. According to doctors he has the aerobic fitness of a healthy 30- or 40- year old. And, he didn’t even start a regular exercise routine until he was 73. His exercise routine is surprisingly simple. He exercises 40 minutes a day with a mix of easy, moderate and intense training and weight training two or three times per week. He also eats a high protein diet.

Estate Planning

But remember, estate planning is not just for the super rich. CNBC says you need an estate plan, even if your means are more modest. We agree with them that having an estate plan is important and their bottom line that estate planning offers peace of mind to both you and those you leave behind. However, we don’t agree that Legal Zoom, Quicken Willmaker or any of other free estate planning tools are a good way to go. Too often those sorts of programs don’t take into consideration each unique situation. You’re better off meeting with an estate planning or elder law lawyer. If you’ve wandered onto our website you probably already knew that. You probably already have an estate plan or are thinking about getting one.

But, even if you already have one, when’s the last time you looked at your documents? Changes in the law, asset valuations and family are all reasons you should do an Estate Plan Check-Ups. We recommend checking in on your estate plans every five to seven years, or even more frequently as you age. One thing you might want to check is how your assets are titled. If you didn’t take the time to re-title assets to your trust, that trust won’t do you any good. You also might double check that the right person is named as trustee.

Alzheimer’s Disease Indicators

A new study out of the Amsterdam University Medical Center have found five biological variants of Alzheimer’s disease. Why does this matter? Well, the researchers believe that these findings could impact how Alzheimer’s medications are developed and prescribed. Different subtypes may need different treatment and this discovery may lead to accelerated intervention research. A different, but also new study published by the Lancet found that certain vision problems could be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Another early warning sign might be in our blood. A new blood test that looks for a protein called phosphorylated tau (p-tau) could be used to screen for Alzheimer’s disease before any symptoms show according to a new study.

The National Institute on Aging also talked about Alzheimer’s disease this month. They put out an article that covers twelve common myths about Alzheimer’s disease. Among the myths are that Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing, only people over the age of 70 develop Alzheimer’s disease, and that aluminum causes Alzheimer’s disease.

Other News

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Robert B. Fleming


Robert Fleming is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been certified as a Specialist in Estate and Trust Law by the State Bar of Arizona‘s Board of Legal Specialization, and he is also a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Robert has a long history of involvement in local, state and national organizations. He is most proud of his instrumental involvement in the Special Needs Alliance, the premier national organization for lawyers dealing with special needs trusts and planning.

Robert has two adult children, two young grandchildren and a wife of over fifty years. He is devoted to all of them. He is also very fond of Rosalind Franklin (his office companion corgi), and his homebound cat Muninn. He just likes people, their pets and their stories.

Elizabeth N.R. Friman


Elizabeth Noble Rollings Friman is a principal and licensed fiduciary at Fleming & Curti, PLC. Elizabeth enjoys estate planning and helping families navigate trust and probate administrations. She is passionate about the fiduciary work that she performs as a trustee, personal representative, guardian, and conservator. Elizabeth works with CPAs, financial professionals, case managers, and medical providers to tailor solutions to complex family challenges. Elizabeth is often called upon to serve as a neutral party so that families can avoid protracted legal conflict. Elizabeth relies on the expertise of her team at Fleming & Curti, and as the Firm approaches its third decade, she is proud of the culture of care and consideration that the Firm embodies. Finding workable solutions to sensitive and complex family challenges is something that Elizabeth and the Fleming & Curti team do well.

Amy F. Matheson


Amy Farrell Matheson has worked as an attorney at Fleming & Curti since 2006. A member of the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, she is primarily responsible for estate planning and probate matters.

Amy graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in political science and English. She is an honors graduate of Suffolk University Law School and has been admitted to practice in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining Fleming & Curti, Amy worked for American Public Television in Boston, and with the international trade group at White & Case, LLP, in Washington, D.C.

Amy’s husband, Tom, is an astronomer at NOIRLab and the Head of Time Domain Services, whose main project is ANTARES. Sadly, this does not involve actual time travel. Amy’s twin daughters are high school students; Finn, her Irish Red and White Setter, remains a puppy at heart.

Famous people's wills

Matthew M. Mansour


Matthew is a law clerk who recently earned his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Matthew has had a passion for advocacy in the Tucson community since his time as a law student representative in the Workers’ Rights Clinic. He also has worked in both the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Pima County Public Defender’s Office. He enjoys playing basketball, caring for his cat, and listening to audiobooks narrated by the authors.