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Father Disinherited From Son’s Estate For Abandonment


A child — particularly a minor child — can inherit a share of an absent parent’s estate even after abandonment by the parent. But what about the less common circumstance of a child dying young. Will abandonment by a parent prevent the parent from inheriting from the child’s estate? Brandon’s story In 1989 a child […]

What To Do About a Child Who Can’t Handle Money

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 31 A reader asks: “could you do an article on how to leave inheritance to a son who is not good at handling money? Should I leave his portion to another son who is good at it? They are very close and would get along.” First we have a […]

Guardianship May Suggest Lack of Testamentary Capacity

Guardianship and testamentary capacity

MARCH 19, 2012 VOLUME 19 NUMBER 11 Can a person under guardianship sign a new will? After all, in order to have a guardian appointed (in Arizona, at least), the court must first have found that the person is impaired by a mental disorder (or some other cause) and that he or she “lacks sufficient […]

Son Disinherited Because of Felony Despite Expungement

FEBRUARY 17, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 33 When William Garland, Jr., wrote his will, he was concerned about his son Richard Garland. Because he thought Richard had engaged in some irresponsible behavior in his teens, Mr. Garland directed that Richard’s share of his estate would be held in trust. The terms of the trust directed […]

Only Preponderance Of Evidence Required To Disinherit Killer

SEPTEMBER 25, 2000 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 13 David Pickett died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in February, 1993. The cause of his death, as the New Hampshire Supreme Court later described it, was “the infliction of an incision wound to his neck by one or more unknown persons.” No one has been prosecuted for his murder, […]

Will Omission Does Not Entitle Estranged Son to Inheritance

JULY 24, 2000 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 4 The general public is frequently misinformed about wills and estate planning. One pervasive notion is that a will must leave some token amount to every child (or other relative) in order to disinherit that individual. While the most frequent formula is to leave $1.00 to each individual, one […]

Bequests To Disabled Children Should Be In Special Trusts

MARCH 20, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 38 Suppose your adult son is disabled and receiving both financial and medical assistance from the government. While you do not consider yourself wealthy, you have worked hard all your life and managed to build a modest estate. If you leave your disabled child his share of your estate […]

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.