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Due Process in Guardianship Proceeding

Due process in Texas

It’s easy to observe that the subject of a guardianship (or conservatorship) petition has a right to “due process” during the court process. But what does that mean? Does it include anything a judge orders? Does it require a court hearing? How will you know if you have been afforded due process before a guardianship […]

When Does Your Family Member Need Guardianship?

When do you need guardianship?

Suppose you have a 17-year-old child with a developmental or cognitive disability. Do you need guardianship before they turn 18? Is it OK to wait, or to forego guardianship altogether? First: what is guardianship? While your children are minors, you have the authority to make medical and placement decisions for them (we’re ignoring the possibility […]

Disinherited Step-Grandson Lacks Standing to Challenge Codicil


Will challenges are far less common than most people think. One reason: few people have any basis on which to challenge a will, even if they feel aggrieved. In legal terms, most potential challengers simply lack any “standing” to contest a will. A recent Texas case illustrates the concept nicely. Lucy Lee’s will and codicils […]

Meaning of “Per Stirpes” Becomes Dispute in Texas Case

Perhaps you have seen the term in a will or trust: “per stirpes”. What does it mean, and what difference does it make? A recent Texas Court of Appeals case addresses the term — and also gives us an opportunity to tell an interesting family story. William Lewis Moody, Jr. For our purposes, the story […]

Unwritten Promise to Write a Will is Not Enough

Unwritten promise to make a will is not enough

FEBRUARY 20, 2017 VOLUME 24 NUMBER 8 Here’s a basic rule, applicable in every U.S. state: wills need to be in writing. But what about a promise to write a will, or to leave a particular item to a particular person? Unsurprisingly, those promises usually have to be in writing, too. Jim’s Story Take Jim […]

Guardians Control Care Decisions, But Authority Is Not Absolute

FEBRUARY 13, 2012 VOLUME 19 NUMBER 6 A Texas probate judge appointed Frederick and Lorraine Cooper (see note below) as guardian of their adult developmentally disabled daughter Cathy in 2003. Three years later, Cathy moved into a group home in Grapevine, Texas. After Cathy had lived there for about two years, the group home operator […]

Court Distinguishes Between Undue Influence, Incapacity

DECEMBER 28 , 2009  VOLUME 16, NUMBER 66 Contrary to public perceptions, will contests are actually rare. In fact, few wills are written in such a way that anyone would benefit from a contest — most wills leave property to the same people who would inherit if there was no will. When there is a […]

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.