Irrevocable Trusts: Never Totally Irrevocable

Never totally irrevocable

People may believe estate planning should be a once-and-done affair. But things tend to change over time, and estate plans may need to change, too. Even plans that say they are irrevocable are never totally irrevocable. Change is the norm these days. The just-passed SECURE Act brought a slew of changes and new strategies to […]

New Arizona Case Clarifies Trust Decanting

Trust decanting

Circumstances change. Trusts often are not adaptable to those changes. Sometimes trusts run for many years, or even decades. Increasingly, lawyers and trustees turn to trust decanting as a means of updating older trust language. What is trust decanting? Decanting is a relatively recent idea in trust administration. In some circumstances, a trustee may be […]

Even Without State Statute, Court Approves Trust Decanting

Decant

VOLUME 24 NUMBER 18 When a trustee transfers assets to a new trust with the same beneficiaries (but different terms), it is often called decanting. “Decant” is an analogy: the trustee is, in a sense, pouring trust assets from an old vessel into a new container, and improving the quality of the trust in the […]

Trust Decanting Used to Implement Special Needs Provisions

Decant

OCTOBER 10, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 38 Let’s say that your mother wants to leave an inheritance for your son (let’s call him Daniel), but that Daniel is a minor. How can she arrange his inheritance? By putting it in trust, of course. Pretty commonly, Daniel’s trust might continue until he is 21, or 25, […]

“Decanting” of Trust for Medicaid Patient Challenged

JANUARY 11, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 2 Jane Murray (not her real name) died in 2003. She had created a number of trusts, including two for the benefit of her daughter Dana. Jane was very worried about Dana’s future, partly because of a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. She included some strong language […]

Exercise of a Power of Appointment Should Follow the Document

JUNE 29, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 24 Clients are often unfamiliar with the concept of a “power of appointment.” If they don’t know what it is, they can be excused for not knowing whether they have one, or how to use it. Suppose Thomas leaves $10,000 to charities in his trust, but gives his brother Richard […]

The Developing Law of Trust Decanting

NOVEMBER 3, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 40 We first wrote about trust “decanting” in this space three years ago. Since then we’ve had occasion to revisit the topic a handful of times — most recently about six weeks ago when we wrote about modifying trusts that no longer seemed to make as much sense, since […]

How Increased Estate Tax Exemptions Affect Existing Trusts

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 35 A lot has changed in American estate planning in the last decade (as you may have already heard). Estate tax thresholds have increased to (as of 2014) $5.34 million. On top of that figure, there is a relatively new concept of “portability” of the estate tax exemption, so […]

Challenge to Three-Year-Old Trust Reformation is Dismissed

JANUARY 9, 2012 VOLUME 19 NUMBER 2 With the increased emphasis on (and use of) living trusts for estate planning, we lawyers are seeing more and more cases in which an old trust needs modification. Perhaps the tax laws have changed since a parent or grandparent died. Maybe what once made sense is less defensible […]

Decanting: It’s Not Just for Fine Wines Anymore

JUNE 20, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 22 Imagine this tragic scenario: your 33-year-old son has a serious illness, and requires extensive medical treatment. The good news is that the treatment may well effect a cure. The bad news is that it will be horribly expensive. Right now he qualifies for government assistance with that expense […]

Robert B. Fleming

Attorney

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

Attorney

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

Attorney

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

Attorney

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.