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March Review, From Cryptocurrency to Purple Rain Wine

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March review

We’re near the end of the month. That’s when we like to survey the elder law landscape and share articles and developments of interest. For the March review, we touch on everything from cryptocurrency to Purple Rain Wine.

March Review: Estate Planning

It seems like everyone is investing in cryptocurrency these days. Many investors, however, don’t consider what happens to the investment at death. Passing it on can be tricky. For one thing, there’s no established process. As a result, the risk of losing it all is real. One important step: telling your advisers and executors that you have it!

Not considering how to pass on your cryptocurrency is one possible estate planning mistake. Here are seven more. The sources are estate planning attorneys, and we agree with them all. A couple stand out, though. One is a common misunderstanding: “You believe that a will is all you need to avoid loved ones going to court.” (Not true.) Most importantly: “You don’t work with someone who actually understands estate law.”

Some believe estate planning is so important that it ought to be an employee benefit. That’s based on survey reflects that show employees want it. Here again, it’s important to make sure the benefit provides advice from someone who actually understands estate law.

Part of an estate planner’s skill is recognizing special considerations for almost every person, such as newlyweds and  unmarried partners. And, in addition, knowing when a revocable trust might make sense.

For many, part of an estate plan involves minimizing tax. The SECURE Act eliminated the lifetime “stretch” for IRA beneficiaries. But different strategies can help counter the downsides. Other tax benefits can be found by super-funding 529 plans, for instance. And by making gifts that are excluded from the estate tax ($16,000.00 per person this year).

Estate plans typically include living wills, which spell out medical treatment preferences in the event of incapacity. They also can include burial or cremation wishes. Few clients consider climate change in their decision. One woman did and shared her findings.

Care & Aging

Planning is also important if a loved one receives a diagnosis of dementia. First and foremost, seek help early.

Being a good caregiver takes a special kind of skill. Family members who provide care often learn along the way. A former journalist who cared for his mom for 10 years (she lived to 105!) writes about the rewards and challenges. He says: “My mom was a remarkable woman who taught me more than I sometimes wanted to know, as did the extraordinary women caregivers who accompanied me. Yes, I failed in ways I never imagined, but I was also rewarded in ways I never dreamed.”

Meanwhile, the EEOC is trying to give more protection to employees who have caregiving responsibilities. And the Biden Administration promises to increase the quality of nursing home care.

March Review of Celebrity Estates

Like Britney Spears, actress Amanda Bynes requested that her court-ordered conservatorship end. The judge granted her request this month. Bynes’ mother served as her conservator for almost a decade. In that role, she oversaw Bynes’ personal decisions and, for a time, finances. Her mom agreed with ending the arrangement, and a psychiatrist signed off, too. Amanda and Britney are not the only famous people to become “wards.” Here are four more. Although the celebrities’ situations may seem unique, there are lessons for us regular people. For instance, plan for your own incapacity via powers of attorney.

In music news, the Prince estate is serious about protecting its assets. It’s fighting Morris Day (over use of “the Time”) and a winery (to stop Purple Rain Wine) to keep the Prince legacy pure.

That’s the March review. Cheers to spring!

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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.