Online resource center to help you explore these key issues, and others, regarding your estate.

Practice Areas

Mr. Miller has many years of experience in designing and implementing a comprehensive variety of Trusts, Wills, and other estate planning documents, as well as settling estates in the most expedient and appropriate method. Further, he counsels and assists clients on becoming eligible for VA benefits and Medi-Cal.

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VA Pension/Aid & Attendance/Medi-Cal

Mr. Miller has many years of experience in designing and implementing a comprehensive variety of wills, trusts and other estate planning documents, using strategies appropriate to each situation — from the basic to the most complex.

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Probate & Estate Administration

Mr. Miller has many years of experience in designing and implementing a comprehensive variety of wills, trusts and other estate planning documents, using strategies appropriate to each situation — from the basic to the most complex.

Learn more

Elder Law Articles

Naming the IRS as Beneficiary!

By merv,

If you have accumulated a fairly large IRA during your career like many boomers, there are a number of important planning steps you should take for its distribution in case your IRA outlives you.  You do not generally fund your trust with your IRA or list the trust as a beneficiary, so it is often  … Read more


Decoration Day…

By merv,

Memorial Day began during the Civil War as Decoration Day.  As the bloodiest war in American history to date, African Americans freed from slavery first started the tradition by landscaping and cleaning up the unmarked burial ground at the Charleston Race Track in Charleston, North Carolina.  Soon thereafter, following the battle of Gettysburg, the Union  … Read more


What to Expect When You’re Expecting…An Inheritance

By merv,

There are a few things about anticipating an inheritance everyone should know.  There are a number of ways to obtain an “inheritance.”  The common probate procedures are: intestate transfer, meaning the deceased person did not have a will; and testate transfer, meaning the person did have a will.  Additionally, a revocable living trust, joint tenancy,  … Read more


Legal Fiction?

By merv,

Because you have been reading this blog, and then running to review your estate plan  immediately, you may have noticed that there are a lot of phrases or segments that seem irrelevant to you or your situation.  Some may actually be irrelevant and unnecessary; however, most are the product of “legal fictions” or victorious cases  … Read more


Wading into the Marriage Equality Discussion…

By merv,

This has been a busy week for news about same-sex marriage!  Regardless of your position, both sides seem to be heating up the debate.  North Carolina passed a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage and other, generally more palatable same-sex arrangements such as domestic partnerships.  In response, the President weighed in by  announcing that his view  … Read more


What are you waiting for?

By merv,

If it’s V.A. benefits, I understand.  The backlog of V.A. claims is astounding.  Nearly 900,000 veterans who have applied for benefits are still awaiting approval.  Over 65% of those claims have been outstanding for over four months.  Additionally, the V.A. expects the backlog to grow to at least 1.2 million by the end of the  … Read more


Your On/Off Switch…

By merv,

Generally a comprehensive estate plan will include provisions for your care even while you are still alive.  Unique documents and provisions should be carefully considered while you are working with your attorney to create or amend your plans.  Many attorneys treat health care documents as boilerplate.  However, when it comes to authorizing someone else to  … Read more


Property vs. Family…

By merv,

Many of you have one member of your household who is frequently overlooked.  You never got a credit or even an exemption on your tax return.  They are not included on your family healthcare plan.  You are not automatically entitled to time off work when they have kids or when they die.  The reason is  … Read more


Making Your Retirement Plan Work for You!

By merv,

Tax favored retirement plans such as Traditional or Roth IRAs are meant to help you save for retirement.  However, because your life and ultimate demise are unpredictable, there are a number of important caveats to remember about your retirement plan. One frequently overlooked aspect of retirement plans is the beneficiary listing.  Your IRA is generally  … Read more


About Living Trusts

About Living Trusts is hosted by the Law Offices of Merwyn J. Miller, as your online resource center to help you explore these key issues, and others, regarding your estate.

Merwyn J. Miller, J.D.


  • Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
  • Co-Author of legal text book and of “Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home
  • Teacher of law courses at public and private colleges
  • Continuing Education Instructor for attorneys
  • Columnist for largest regional newspaper in San Diego County and professional journals for 15 years, Contributing author to the book “In Your Service: The Veteran’s Friend”
  • Masters Degree in Financial Services - Estate Planning
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11-06-2017

Did New Wife Pull a Fast One?

Introduction Joint Tenancy Avoids Probate Need for an Attorney Whose Family Will Ultimately Get the House Debts Mortgage Liability Capital Gain Disadv...

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