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Good Beneficiaries Keep Tabs on the Trustee

We hate to say it, but beneficiaries should never blindly trust their trustees. Good beneficiaries pay attention to the process. The trustee-beneficiary relationship works properly only if beneficiaries are engaged and looking out for themselves. Yes, the trustee legally owes duties to the beneficiaries a whole bunch of ways. But it’s the beneficiaries who must […]

Making Lists: A Good Way to Show You Care

Making lists

Write it down. For decades, law firms like Fleming & Curti have provided estate planning clients with blank forms for making lists for gifts of personal property. Clients rarely use them, but there are significant benefits to making lists. Lists give your executor (a/k/a personal representative) or trustee a roadmap for distributing the items. In […]

The Final Word? With Wills and Trusts, It’s Never Final

Wills are never the final word

After someone dies, most believe the will or trust is the final word and must be followed. That’s never really true. Often the document can’t be changed. But, if everyone involved can agree, they usually can deviate from the document and divide assets differently. Under Arizona law, a will cannot be reformed or modified, and […]

To Protect Beneficiaries, Use Specifically Tailored Trusts

Deciding what your loved ones get – or don’t get – after you are gone can be difficult. It’s even tougher if those to whom you wish to leave your hard-earned assets are not responsible with money or lack values you hold dear. A trust with tailored provisions is a possible solution. Leaving an inheritance […]

The December Round-up: 10 Lessons From 2019

At the end of each month, we like to take stock of elder law news and share new or interesting developments. For the December round-up, we’ve decided to do something a little different: round up the lessons we’ve learned over the past year, inspired by our own practice, cases we’ve read about, and even rumors […]

Trust Administration Potpourri

Trust administration potpourri

Here at Fleming & Curti, PLC, we comb recent case reports and news items looking for a good story to illustrate important legal principles. We are always on the lookout for stories about, for instance, trust administration issues. Sometimes our work is easy; sometimes there just don’t seem to be great recent stories. Perhaps it’s […]

Even Without State Statute, Court Approves Trust Decanting


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 […]

What “Elder Law” Means to Us at Fleming & Curti, PLC

Elder Law

VOLUME 24 NUMBER 11 At Fleming & Curti, PLC, we practice elder law. But what does that term mean? Our practice is focused on typical legal problems faced by older individuals. We also regularly work in the field of special needs planning for individuals with disabilities. Because the people coming to see us are often […]

Trust Lawyer’s Fees Reduced by Over $110,000

Trust lawyer's fees reduced by over $110,000

FEBRUARY 27, 2017 VOLUME 24 NUMBER 9 General rule: a trust lawyer’s fees can be charged to the trust, at least where the trustee has not misbehaved. Significant exception: courts can reduce fees for a variety of reasons, and “misbehaved” may have different meanings. The story Patricia Campbell was trustee of a special needs trust […]

Beneficiaries Permitted to Modify Trust Terms by Agreement

OCTOBER 19, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 38 Not every client we speak with wants to set up a trust for generations of descendants, but some do. The notion of allowing assets to grow for two or three (or more) generations can be attractive. It is difficult, of course, to imagine what one’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren […]

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.