Close this search box.

Bills Pending In AZ Legislature Would Affect Seniors’ Care

Print Article


In the first four months of each year, the Arizona legislature meets to consider possible changes in Arizona law. Usually a handful of the legislature’s ideas impact seniors and their support network. New laws introduced so far this year would bring mostly small, but good, changes. A few of the more important ideas under consideration:

HB (House Bill) 2088, HB 2531, SB (Senate Bill) 1099, and SB 1100: taken together, these bills express the Arizona legislature’s interest in long term care insurance as a means of reducing the governmental share of nursing home costs over time. The bills, if all pass, would establish a state income tax deduction for long term care insurance premiums, direct the State Department of Administration to conduct a study on the feasibility of offering long term care insurance to state employees, and create other administrative and tax incentives to expand the use of long term care insurance. Although the proposed tax credit is modest, the legislation is certainly a step in the right direction for families concerned about providing for care in the future.

SB 1146: current Arizona law establishes two separate mechanisms for taking control of the personal affairs of an incapacitated adult. For most people, the probate code (familiarly referred to as Title 14) provides the mechanism for legal assistance in such circumstances. For those who also suffer from mental illness, however, an entirely separate guardianship section in Title 36 of the statutes (the Public Health section) controls. The resulting confusion can make proceedings complicated and expensive, can delay treatment and can even result in inconsistent decisions.

The proposal filed as SB 1146 would combine those two legal systems into a single, more efficient system, while still protecting the civil rights of those brought under the protection of the law. It would also make it clear that a competent patient can give a health care power of attorney to a trusted adviser, which could be used to admit the patient for psychiatric care later, when the patient is no longer able to sign a consent himself or herself.

HB 2167: the “Aid in Dying” bill would permit physicians to issue a prescription to a terminally ill patient, even though the patient could use the medication to end his or her life. This bill, patterned after (but not exactly like) the Oregon “Death With Dignity” law, is given little prospect of passing, at least in this legislative session.

HB2063: under current law, a court can grant visitation rights to grandparents only if the parents are divorced, one parent is missing or the child was born out of wedlock. If adopted, this bill would remove those restrictions; the court could then order parents to permit visitation by grandparents any time the judge decided such visitation was in the child’s best interest.

SB 1251: the AHCCCS “Omnibus” bill would make a number of changes in the way Arizona’s Medicaid agency interprets trusts and annuities. Some of those changes appear to violate federal requirements, but other changes will be beneficial to trust recipients.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our Newsletter to get our takes on some of the situations families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities find themselves in. These posts help guide you in the decision making process and point out helpful tips and nuances to take advantage of. Enter your email below to have our entries sent directly to your inbox!

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.