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Advance Directives

If you needed medical care and were unable to communicate your wishes, do your loved ones know what you’d want? There are specific documents for that: advance directives.

These legal documents memorialize a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment if they are unable to understand or express them. The goal is to ensure that the patient’s directives are carried out. Arizona identifies four types of directives that can be executed in advance:

Have questions about Advance Directives?

Give us a call, we are happy to discuss your options.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney grants your “agent” (or “attorney in fact”) the authority to make health care decisions when you (the “principal”) are unable to. These powers can include making decisions about living arrangements, placement, medications, surgeries, and critical end-of-life treatment. Because the power granted is broad, an agent should be trustworthy and fully informed about their duties and your wishes.

In Arizona, a health care power of attorney must contain clear language indicating that it is to be used for such purposes and must be witnessed or notarized. No particular form is required, but a document prepared by an attorney is likely to be more thorough than a self-drafted version – or the statutory form provided by the legislature.

Mental Health Power of Attorney

Arizona residents also can execute a mental health power of attorney. This grants an agent the authority to make mental health care decisions if you are unable to make your own decisions – as when you are experiencing a mental health crisis. Among the powers a mental health care agent can be given is the ability to admit the principal to a locked psychiatric treatment facility. This power can help avoid the court process that may be required if a person refuses needed treatment. A mental health power of attorney can save time, money, and emotional turmoil in a time of crisis. It is, however, completely optional.

Living Will

A living will is a written statement that expresses wishes for medical care during any period of incapacity. A living will can include specific medical treatments that you would or — would not – like. It also can include preferences for organ donation and pain management. Like a health care power of attorney, there is no particular form that is required.

Living wills usually work together with a power of attorney. The agent named under the power of attorney uses the Living Will to guide them in making decisions. That said, no single document can capture a person’s wishes in all circumstances; there’s no substitute for fully discussing these matters with your agents.

At Fleming & Curti, our health care directives include the power of attorney; mental health powers (if desired); and living will in one document. No one needs to keep track of three different pieces of paper. Our documents also cover other wishes including organ donation, cremation, driving, and visitation authority.

Prehospital Medical Care Directive

A Prehospital Medical Care Directive is a special document for patients who do not wish to be resuscitated if a medical emergency arises. It is unique to Arizona, and will not have the same effect in other states. It is sometimes called “the orange form” because it must be on orange paper. With this document in place, emergency workers are directed to refrain from using equipment, drugs, or any other device to restart a person’s heart or breathing. The directive must be in a specific format.

Copies of completed advance directives should be shared with your medical team and the agents named. Once you have completed your advance directives, be careful about inadvertently signing inconsistent documents presented by medical providers , self-help seminars or other (mostly well-meaning) advisers.

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There are so many different options to consider when either preparing for a transfer of power or executing a financial plan, we’re here to make that process as easy to understand as possible. Come by our office for a cup of coffee, meet our dogs and lets chat about what we can do for you and your family.
Fleming & Curti, PLC was very helpful as both legal counsel for our elderly Aunt’s Trust and as Health Care Power of Attorney. Both Legal Counsel and Case Worker’s were transparent and responsive to family inquiries.

- Chris T


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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.