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March Review: Green Book, Bees, and McMurtry’s Boots

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March review

April is around the corner, so it’s time for the March review of elder law issues. At the end of each month, we like to survey the internet and share items of interest. Here’s what we found this month:

Estate & Tax Planning

We never pay that much attention to the president’s “Green Book” – proposed budget measures that almost never happen, at least not right away. Biden’s plan came out on March 9, and here’s a three-part look at what’s in there that could have an impact on estate planning:

  • Part 1—Taxing those with high-net worth and treating tax paid on grantor trusts as gifts
  • Part 2—Targeting GRATS and CLATS
  • Part 3—Limiting defined value clauses

If you’d rather plan for the world we now live in, here are some more useful bits:

Something we recommend for all clients (and not just in March): Clean out your estate planning file from time to time. This article is a comprehensive look at what to get rid of and why.

If your plan is in order (and even if it’s not), consider adding one more thing: a financial file to help guide those you have entrusted to manage your affairs. We speak from experience (our firm serves as trustee, executor, and agent under power of attorney); having accurate information about assets makes for a faster, more efficient (aka less expensive) administration.

Planning by the Numbers

10 costly mistakes to avoid. We like them all but if we had to choose just one, it would be “Not doing an estate plan.”

5 key steps to creating a plan. We take issue with No. 4, “Consult with advisors to support and help implement components of your plan.” It then talks about meeting with a “wealth planner” – substitute “attorney,” please.

3 things most people get wrong. We take issue with No. 3: You can cut costs using online platforms. That’s true, but errors can be very costly later on.

March Review: A Few More

Aging & Care

Kaiser Health News zeroed in on Medicaid estate recovery, using Iowa as its example. In Arizona, that means ALTCS (Arizona Long-Term Care System), and recipients are often surprised that our state has a recovery program, too. ALTCS won’t “take your house” (as many believe), but that doesn’t mean the state doesn’t get anything.

For March’s review of dementia news: Vitamin D might help you avoid it. So might a life-long marriage, a Mediterranean diet, and magnesium-rich foods.

Meanwhile, the New York Times’ “First Person” podcast series features Anne Basting, who advocates for creative approaches to dementia care. Listen or read the transcript.

Dead Celebs & Suits

Soccer great Pele, in his will, gave 30% of his assets to his widow and 70% to his six, or maybe seven, kids. The will acknowledges an additional possible child, and says she’s included if DNA tests confirm paternity.

Leonard Cohen’s children have filed a lawsuit to remove the singer-songwriter’s manager as trustee of Cohen’s trust. They say he forged the document naming him trustee, and he seems to have admitted it. The kids want any fees he took since Cohen died in 2016 returned to the trust.

In another trustee-family dispute, the bank trustee of Thomas Hart Benton’s estate says his kids made up stories of trust mismanagement.

Coming in May is another opportunity to collect celebrity mementoes. The estate of author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Last Picture Show) is auctioning items via Vogt Auction Galleries in San Antonio. Included: McMurtry’s personal green Hermes 3000 typewriter, firearms, and boots (pictured above). The full catalog will be out May 5, and the auction starts at 1 p.m. May 29.


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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.