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Top Ten Elder Law Lessons from 2022

Top ten

At the end of each month, we take stock of elder law news and developments and share them. For the December review, we look less to outside news and commentary and instead think about what we (or others) have learned or wish we (or others) had learned before something unfortunate happened. Here are some lessons […]

Planning for Protection-From Yourself

Most people think estate planning is all about what happens when a person dies. It is, but it’s also important for the living. One special case: When you realize you need protection from yourself. Maybe you have a mental illness and can’t always be attuned to financial matters. Maybe you have a family history of […]

September Review: Estate Tax Changes Around the Corner?

September review

October is around the corner, which means it’s time for the September review of elder law news and developments. Of utmost concern: Potential changes to the estate tax. We’ll devote most of our review to the current proposal, even though it’s very far from a done deal. Those who might be affected should think about […]

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 […]

Remarriage and Your Trust


We see it often in our practice. A couple prepares their estate plan, including a joint revocable trust. One spouse dies, and eventually the surviving spouse remarries. What is the relationship between remarriage and your trust plan? Michael Berezo Michael Berezo lived in Kirkwood, Missouri. He had married Alene Haskell in 1986; the couple had […]

Disinheriting a Child Over Politics? Think About a Trust

The divisions that lead to the recent attack on the U.S. Capitol are having an effect on estate planning. It’s not surprising that family members have differing political views during this turbulent time. What is surprising: the growing number of clients who are considering disinheriting a child because of it. But disinheritance is extreme. A […]

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 […]

Who Should Get Copies of Your Will and Trust?

Copies of your will and trust

You’ve signed your will and powers of attorney. Maybe you’ve even signed a living trust. But now who should get copies of your will and trust? Is the answer different for your powers of attorney? What to do with the original documents First, let’s just say a word about what you should do with the […]

Trust Protector’s Power Tested in California Case

Trust protector's powers

We have written before about “trust protectors,” a relatively new concept in American trust law. Because there is not a lot of case law on the subject, the limits of a trust protector’s power (and duty) has not been well-established. Now a new California case fills in a little more detail. Trust protectors — a […]

What Happens When Someone Dies Intestate?


VOLUME 24 NUMBER 17 Even with regular prompting, about half of people never get around to completing even basic estate planning. If they never do get a will signed, we lawyers say that they have died “intestate”. But what does that really mean for their loved ones? Note that the information we provide here is […]

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.