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Durable POA

Powers of attorney are written authorizations that designate a person to act on behalf of another. The person named to act is known as an “attorney in fact” or “agent.” The person who grants powers (by signing the document) is called the “principal.” Most powers of attorney are also “durable” – that means that the power does not terminate if the principal becomes incapacitated.

Durable powers of attorney are essential parts of any estate plan. They are intended to be used if the client ever is unable to manage finances and health care decisions. The principal designates an agent to make decisions for them. Health care powers are among documents collectively known as advance directives, and they can be implemented only when the principal is unable to give informed medical consent. Financial powers can be effective as soon as they are signed or become effective only after the principal is unable to manage their finances.

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Powers Granted by POA

There are only a few actions that cannot be granted through a power of attorney, including the power to vote or get married. An agent’s authorization is limited to the powers in the document, so the authority should be clear, detailed, and explicit. Powers granted can be very narrow (such as closing a specific real estate transaction) or very broad (make all medical decisions).

Because so much power can be given through powers of attorney, it is important to choose a trustworthy – and available – agent. The principal should implicitly trust the agent that has been nominated because the agent is required to act as the principal has directed, or, absent direction, in the best interest of the principal.

Granting another person broad power to make decisions on your behalf requires careful thought. If you do not have a durable power of attorney and become incapacitated, the court may appoint someone to act on your behalf in a guardianship and/or conservatorship proceeding. You may not have the ability to choose who is selected. By signing a durable power of attorney, you decide who will act on your behalf, if needed.

Who Can Sign POA?

Any competent person over age 18 can sign a power of attorney, and every adult should have both kinds. Some believe power of attorney forms need to be recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. This is not necessary except for specific situations, such as buying or selling real estate. Principals and agents should, however, share copies of the documents with medical professionals (for health care powers) and financial institutions (for financial powers) to ensure the documents meet their expectations. In Arizona, there is no law that requires bankers or medical professionals to accept a power of attorney document, and financial institutions, in particular, are known to question (and often decline) powers of attorney without medical documentation that suggests the principal is incapacitated. Don’t wait for a crisis to discover that your bank or doctor’s office won’t accept your documents.

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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.