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August Round Up: Taxes, Nursing Homes, Britney

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Among issues for the August Round Up of elder law: Changes in taxes

At the end of every month, we like to share interesting developments in elder law. For the August round up, links consider the future of the estate tax, nursing homes, and Britney Spears.

The August Round Up of Tax Speculation

Now that we have our official presidential candidates, there’s no shortage of discussion about the future of taxes, and the estate tax is among them. It’ll come as no surprise that democrats and republicans view fairness of taxes differently. But, according to a Brookings analysis, the argument that the estate tax doesn’t produce enough revenue to bother is apparently false.

Democrat Joe Biden says “[e]state taxes should also be raised back to the historical norm.” He further supports ditching the basis adjustment at death. (What that means.) One Forbes writer says losing the step-up in basis could really hurt.

All this has the tax-averse weighing in on what to do:

Covid and Nursing Facilities

The pandemic hit nursing homes hard. More then 40% of deaths have been linked to residential care facilities. Some hope that the crisis will create an opportunity for reform. The report of a national commission to do just that is due September 1.

The problems, are largely driven by Medicaid funding and policy, which leaves people with no better options.

Britney Fights Back

We have written before about the strange conservatorship of Britney Spears. There’s more happening, but because court filings are sealed, not a lot of clarity. The Washington Post rounded up the recent drama. Britney’s father has served as her conservator but recently stepped aside. Britney filed to say she doesn’t want him back and wants other changes, but not to terminate the conservatorship.  The ACLU even offered to help with the effort, which appears to have failed. Reports say he’ll be in charge until at least February.

In Other August Round Up News . . .

Dementia may be seriously undercounted as an underlying cause of death; meanwhile, getting enough sleep and a flu shot may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Bill Perkins, author of the book Die With Zero, explains why he’s giving his kids money during life instead of at death.

And the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled, contrary to tradition, that Igbo women can receive an inheritance. Not all Igbos are happy about it.

That’s it for the August Round up. Until next month, stay safe out there.

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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.