Close this search box.

September Round Up: Estate Plan Tips, Nursing Home Report

Print Article

At the end of each month, we take a moment to survey interesting developments in elder law. Here’s a  September round up of randomness:

Estate Planning Tidbits

There are apparently eight important components to a thorough estate plan. Funeral insurance isn’t one of them, but maybe it should be.

If you get married a second (or third) time, be sure to avoid these four pitfalls in your estate plan. And, further, be sure to consider how the new SECURE act affects planning for spouses.

Speaking of SECURE, the “stretch” IRA may be mostly gone, but you have other options, one of which is a Roth conversion.

What happens to a bank account when someone dies? It depends.

C/net has reviewed the best online will-makers of the year, but, we agree with this commentator, don’t do it: None can substitute for legal advice.

One thing to decide in every plan: Who will be the trustee (or executor). Consider carefully. Here are some questions to guide you.

Many believe they should leave everything to children. That’s one of five estate planning myths that should be dispelled.

If not the kids, then maybe at least something to charity? Don’t do it like this Ohioan whose Will was so vague, his executors ended up in court trying to figure out what he wanted.

Inherited a retirement account in 2019? Sept. 30 is the deadline to determine the beneficiaries. They should be humans.

Action Amidst a Pandemic

The Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes delivered a 186-page report, and it recommends 27 actions to help protect residents and staff. Allowing visitation is one of them. That may be part of why states including Arizona have begun opening care facilities to visitors. But the pandemic still could be an opportunity to re-think the whole system.

One technique overwhelmed facilities have used is known as “dumping,” and Covid-19 may be making it worse.

For some of us, the pandemic has created family togetherness. Use it to talk about money.

The Changing Tax Landscape

As political winds rage, here’s a laundry list of options that can help keep your trust flexible.

And, once again, we are warned to take advantage of the sky-high estate tax exemptions that exist now. They might not last.

Twelve states still have an estate tax, and six have an inheritance tax. Know which ones they are? Now you do.

Dead Celebrity September Round Up

The son of Evel Knievol is suing Disney over the depiction of a motorcycle-riding daredevil in Toy Story 4 and associated marketing exploits. The lawsuit claims trademark infringement.

Don’t miss this great read about Dorothy Parker’s ashes and how this past August they finally ended up in a Bronx cemetery.


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.