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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 […]

Naomi Judd Probably Didn’t Disinherit Ashley & Wynonna

Celebrity estates

Yet another celeb estate is making headlines. This past week, news outlets shared painful news: Naomi Judd left her famous daughters Ashley and Wynonna out of her will. The problem is, nothing in the reporting suggests that’s the case. Famous singer Naomi, who died by suicide in April, apparently did have an estate plan that […]

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 […]

“Letter of Instruction” Helps Document Your Wishes

Letter of instruction

When we prepare your estate plan, we try to capture your wishes as thoroughly and precisely as possible. It can be a challenge, though, to cover every variable. You may also have preferences that are hard to capture in the legal language of trusts, wills and powers of attorney. That’s why we encourage clients to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Remote Witnessing: Zooming Toward Future Will Signings

Covid-19 brought “remote” to lots of our lives — work, school, doctor visits, happy hour. One activity that remains in-person only: witnessing Wills. At least in most of the United States. Across the pond, though, remote witnessing may be catching on. At the end of September, England and Wales will allow Wills to be witnessed […]

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 […]

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 […]

If You Don’t Plan for Contingencies, the State Plans for You

Plan for contingencies

If we all had crystal balls that could predict the future, estate planning would be a whole lot easier. We don’t, it’s not — and we’re here to tell you that you need to plan for contingencies. One difficult aspect of planning is considering the various ways the future can unfold.  Perhaps the hardest part: […]

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.