Elder Law

Elder law means many things to many people.  At Rubin & Bernstein our elder law practice encompasses:

  • Estate plannin​​g 

    • Drafting wills and trusts, healthcare and durable powers of attorney, and beneficiary deeds

    • Reviewing existing documents

    • Transferring assets to trust, to ensure that they are properly funded

    • Special needs trusts and Able and Stable accounts

  • Probate​

    • Descendent's estates

    • Guardianships and conservatorships (which arise when people cannot look after themselves or their assets)

  • Litigation​

    • Disputes among heirs or estate or trust beneficiaries

In our elder law practice, many people we encounter face significant challenges. Parents with dementia. A child with special needs. Feuding relatives. We try, always, to look for least restrictive, least costly, and least unfavorable option, recognizing needs, challenges, personalities, and cost.

Leigh leads our elder law practice. She’s been handling complex issues in the field for more than 20 years. Mark assists in all elder law areas and contributes most heavily on litigated matters. Matt works almost exclusively on elder law matters.


Ethics, Professional Discipline, and Legal Malpractice

Our ethics, professional discipline, and legal malpractice includes:

  • Advising attorneys on professional responsibility and ethics issues

  • Representing attorneys defending against complaints directed to the lawyer regulation system

  • Representing parties who want to sue attorneys

  • Defending attorneys against claims and suits brought by clients and others

  • Providing expert witness testimony for or against attorneys in discipline or malpractice proceedings

Mark has worked on ethics and malpractice matters for more than 30 years. He’s a Go To attorney in Tucson for attorneys who face professional discipline. In addition, he has significant volunteer experience within both the discipline process, and as a drafter of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct.


Southern Arizona Fiduciary Services LLC

Leigh and Mark hold active licenses from the Arizona Supreme Court – Nos. 20544 and 20546, respectively – to serve as Licensed Fiduciaries. They own and operate Southern Arizona Fiduciary Services LLC (SAFS) (License No. 20850). When Matt, Katie and others “come up for air” we expect them to get licensed.

In Arizona, courts can appoint Licensed Fiduciaries to serve as Guardians or Conservators, or as Personal Representatives (where they are not named in the Last Will and Testament.) SAFS exists as an adjunct to Rubin & Bernstein’s practice, to make Leigh and Mark available to serve in a fiduciary capacity when no one else is available or appropriate.

SAFS provides an option, both in the planning process and when a situation arises which no one contemplated. Wills and trusts identify SAFS as the Personal Representative / Trustee when someone dies, but SAFS also exists to step up in unforeseen situations because, as Robert Burns noted in To a Mouse, “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

What’s our sweet spot? Case with difficult assets or difficult family dynamics. Mark deals with difficult business or real estate problems, while Leigh addresses situations in which everyone stops talking. Our staff supports these efforts, providing both administrative and social services assistance.

SAFS also provides trustee services where traditional bank trust departments won’t. We serve as the trustee in complex estate plans involving split dollar insurance. Cases in which the asset base – $1M to $3-4M – gives us lots of opportunities to solve problems and leaves major trust houses stuck with excessive fee schedules. And trusts which have beneficiaries who want lower fees and a more casual atmosphere.


Business and Real Estate Matters

We handle a variety of business and real estate matters, including transactions, litigation, and providing advice. For business and real estate situations, Mark takes the lead. Whether our services involve a transaction, a dispute, or basic or complex advice, we try hard to get to good solutions as quickly as possible, taking into account goals and costs.


This website is not a private site. Contacting Leigh, Mark, or Matt—or anyone else at Rubin & Bernstein PLLC—does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us, either for confidentiality or conflict of interest purposes. Please do not provide any non-public information here.

Any posts or other information concerning legal matters are intended to provide general information about legal terminology, statutes, issues, cases, etc. We believe our posts are accurate, but we are not “all knowing” and the nature of this website does not always allow for consideration of every possible aspect of a situation. Every situation is also different, and I am not intending to provide legal advice to anyone. If you need legal assistance, hire us or someone else.

Finally, Leigh, Mark, and Matt are members in good standing of the State Bar of Arizona, and are licensed nowhere else. Our conduct is governed by the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, set forth in Rules 42, Rules of the Supreme Court. Unless we make a specific observation about the law of another jurisdiction, any information we provide relates to Arizona law.