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Simplify Your Estate Plan

Everyone wants a “simple” estate plan. But many have complicated notions about distribution of assets. We want to help you simplify your estate plan.

We see many clients with fixed ideas about which assets should go to which beneficiaries. Do you have four children? Well, couldn’t you just open four accounts at different financial institutions and leave one to each child?

Or perhaps you think one child might want to live in your home. Can you just adjust the amount in each of those financial accounts, and then leave the home and a smaller account to that child? Do you really know what your children will do with your home?

Ah, but your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) has a different value to each beneficiary. Most of the beneficiaries will get less out of an IRA because of the income tax liability attached to it. You might want to take advantage of that disparity, leaving taxable income to the beneficiaries who have the least tax to pay. Plus your estate plan can actually get disrupted by changes in law or circumstance.

Oh, and wait. What if you need money to provide for extra health care at life’s end. Which account(s) will that money come from? And what if the person in charge of making decisions effectively adjusts your plans by choosing which accounts to diminish or enhance?

Join us for our podcast discussion about how to really simplify your estate plan. Spoiler alert: we’re going to ask you to step back from your preconceptions about which asset should go to which beneficiary, and focus instead on larger goals. Do you want rough — or even precise — parity among your beneficiaries? Let us help you get to your actual goal, rather than the complex structure you might have constructed in advance.

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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.