The unprecedented backlog in claims for benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) continues to increase. Although a large part of the problem may be attributed to systemic issues within the system, a large part of it is due to a more obvious issue: increasing numbers. Claims for benefits, such as the VA Aid … Read more
Elder Law Articles
Upon the death of a person, an administration of their assets occurs to ensure that the proper individuals receive their due shares. Depending on the amount of assets and the type of administration, the process may be more or less complex. In cases where an individual died with relatively few assets (under $150,000), abbreviated procedures … Read more
First, this office’s hearts and (thoughts/prayers) go out to the City of Boston, the victims of the horrific marathon bombings, and to runners everywhere who have seen their sport forever changed. As more information is revealed about the suspects implicated in this horrible tragedy, we have learned that the suspects are young: 19 and 26 … Read more
For those unfamiliar with the lingo, a “Baby Mama” refers to the mother of an unwed man’s children and “Baby Daddy” refers to the father of an unwed woman’s children. Estate planning can be difficult in second marriages, particularly when spouses have children from prior relationships. Once the planners determine how their assets should be … Read more
You know the old saying, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Unfortunately, this adage rings true for many surviving spouses, who are simply not up for the stress of administering an estate or trust after their spouse dies. Unfortunately, failing to begin or complete administration can cause even … Read more
The estate tax applicable exclusion amount has been a constant uncertainty the last few years. First, the estate tax was entirely repealed in 2010. At the end of the year, Congress retroactively created a $5 million applicable exclusion, set to expire at the beginning of this year. Then, on the brink of returning the applicable … Read more
The federal government uses a number of mechanisms for paying claims and benefits in its various programs. It may come as no surprise, but many agencies duplicate each other’s’ efforts by providing the same services, sometimes even to the same people, using different systems. Additionally, due to the laws Congress passed relating to various agencies, … Read more
The Supreme Court has heard arguments regarding the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8, but people on both sides of the issue will have to await the decisions, due out in June. The cases focused on the level of scrutiny the laws ought to receive and the Constitutionality of the laws, … Read more
When you are completing your estate plans, there are certain assets that will need special consideration. Some assets that require special consideration, like a primary residence, are covered in most estate plans. Careful consideration of how to treat the home may promote future eligibility for Medi-Cal or VA Aid & Attendance Non Service Connected Disability … Read more
During the last several years, the estate tax applicable exclusion amount has been on a steady, upward march. It is now $5.25 million per person ($10.5 million for married couple with proper planning) and is indexed for inflation. With such a generous exclusion amount, the Obama administration is seeking to close “tax loopholes,” including certain … 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
For over 3 decades Mr. Miller has helped me with both my business and personal legal affairs. I also am friends with many veterans who praise his work in the field of Veterans Affairs. I would describe him as knowledgeable, experienced, and very trustworthy.
Mr. Miller & Kristen were instrumental in helping me obtain the Veterans Pension Benefit, which has truly been “life-changing” for me! Their involvement was crucial to my qualifying and the successful submission of an application that was approved the first time through. There is no way I would have ever navigated this complex process without their expertise and guidance. It was a pleasure to interact with the staff. All of them were very professional and exhibited a caring/helpful attitude. I am so appreciative of their services. I hope every veteran is able to avail themselves of this wonderful program.
Grateful WWII Naval Veteran
Mr. Miller and his staff expertly handled the complex, intricate filing for a Veterans’ Aid and Attendance pension benefit for my elderly father. This benefit – though it took a seemingly very long time to be approved – turned out to be the sole way our family could possibly afford proper care for a brave vet who had entered the murky waters of dementia. Miller and his staff kept me briefed throughout the process and were instrumental in coaching me what to expect and when. And they were right!