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New Years Resolutions — Feel Free to Borrow One or More

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The distribution date for this week’s Elder Law Issues newsletter is New Year’s Eve. Although we have been publishing this (more-or-less) weekly newsletter for 19 years, that has only happened twice before — in 2007 and 2001. In both of those instances we passed up a chance to offer our readers a fabulous labor-saving arrangement, and we do not want to forego the opportunity again.

We thought it might be interesting to tell you how we intend to improve ourselves in 2013. Herewith we provide selected New Year’s Resolutions from staff at Fleming & Curti, PLC: use them as inspiration or, if inspiration is in short supply, feel free to plagiarize:

My goal for this year is to learn more about myself and follow through on things that are important or essential to me. I have spent much of my life caring for others and have recently found that I don’t know a lot about myself. I am committed to beginners golf lessons, outings with friends and other projects that help me grow and become more like the person I envision myself to be. (This reminds us of the admonition that we should always strive to be as good as our dogs think we are. But the underlying problem is endemic at Fleming and Curti: staff members tend to be self-sacrificing and helpful to a fault. It’s both the good and bad news here. See the next entry for confirmation.)

I want to lose weight and get into shape — and to start taking care of myself first. I have always put family needs before my own, and I am ready to look for some “me” time.

In addition to the usuals (lose weight, exercise more, etc.), I want to strive to keep my home office cleaner and more organized. I also want to be nicer to my spouse, exercise my dogs at least daily and be more productive at my job. If I fail at only three of those four, I will consider myself successful. (You might want to strive for success at one or more rather than failure at no more than three — but we definitely get the point about how hard it is to really be successful at self-improvement goals for a whole year).

I will reduce the number of piles on my desk to two.

I am really going to lose the same five pounds I resolve to lose every year but keep carrying around nonetheless. I am also (and I know this may be inconsistent) going to make a pie from scratch.

I want to travel somewhere I’ve never been, and to go camping at least twice next year.

I will start writing the novel swimming around in my head. (This could be a common notion at Fleming & Curti — we have too much material for several really entertaining and interesting novels. A lot of identifying information would need to be changed, but boy-oh-boy do we have stories.)

I will buy less stuff and have more fun. I will save more for retirement. (We certainly see the results of failure to address both of these goals in our professional practice here. With regard to the first one, we are reminded of the adage that no one’s headstone ever reads: “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”)

I will strive to improve my father’s life. That will mean more-frequent visits, more-prompt return of telephone calls, and periodic check-ins. It will also mean a more cheerful demeanor when I speak to or of him; he is not a burden, I genuinely like him and he has done rather a lot for me for my entire life.

I hope to be a better friend — to stay in better contact with those I care about and often think about but fail to follow up on contacting. I intend to make spontaneous calls to say “hello” and to make dates to get together if only for coffee on the way to work, lunch (even if I feel like I can’t spare that short hour away from my desk), or for a glass of wine (perhaps two) on my way home. This past year showed me how quickly our lives can change, that we need friends and loved ones and how much they mean to us. (Amen.)

As we head into this, the 20th year of our little newsletter, we wish you all a very happy 2013.

One Response

  1. Excellent resolutions! I’ve been working on some already–more exercising (to offset no less eating), cleaner, more organized home and office offices, fewer piles, etc.–but I have noted the fact that meeting these goals correlates very well with having lots of time off, i.e., two four-day-weekends in a row. I’m thinking retirement might be a cool thing, if I can only figure out that “more saving/less spending” thing!!!

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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.