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 been active in the area of VA Pension and Medi-Cal for well over a decade. He uses various specialized types of Trusts as well as non-trust strategies to gain eligibility for his clients and save the family money.

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Probate & Estate Administration

Mr. Miller has been settling estates (both simple and complex) for well over 40 years. The starting point is always to create a strategy to settle the estate in the most efficient manner possible with a minimum of taxes. Often times the strategy created allows the family to bypass Probate Court proceedings.

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All I Want for Christmas is My Benefits Check!


By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Elder Law, Veteran's Benefits

As the year quickly approaches an end and the holiday season is upon us, many veterans of all stripes are eagerly awaiting their VA benefits.  For veterans caught in the VA’s bureaucracy and ever-growing backlog, it can be incredibly frustrating to wait months for the benefits due to you.  However, there are many more veterans who need the assistance VA benefits can provide, but who do not know where to look or how to apply or who have been denied due to missing and incomplete paperwork.

Veterans are entitled to a litany of benefits depending on their age, length of service, income, needs, and discharge status.  Surviving spouses and children may be eligible for certain benefits as well.  The VA has been focusing on raising awareness about programs available for veteran healthcare, education, housing, and job training, among other services.  Among the lesser known benefits is VA Aid & Attendance Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Benefit.  If a veteran or veteran’s spouse in your family requires assistance with daily tasks such as eating, bathing, or dressing, don’t go broke attempting to pay for constant care!  Instead, check to see if they qualify for Aid & Attendance, which can potentially pay over $24,000 per year toward in-home care or care in an assisted living or nursing home.

The qualifications for VA Aid & Attendance can be misleading.  For example, many veterans believe they will not qualify because their income is too high according to the published income amounts.  However, certain types of income are not included in the calculation and certain deductions are allowed.  Additionally, assets may be exempt from the asset calculation when determining eligibility.  Speaking with a knowledgeable professional about whether you qualify is often free and may lead to surprisingly good results!

In situations where the veteran does not immediately qualify, the inquiry is not necessarily over.  Often it is possible to help the veteran qualify by using certain estate planning methods, such as a QVap Trust.  Assets should only be transferred into these types of trusts with the advice of an experienced attorney.  The transfer of assets into these types of trusts may affect the veteran’s control over the asset or access to it.  Additionally, poor advice on the types of assets to transfer could lead to gift, estate, and income tax pitfalls.  In an attempt to save on attorney fees, you could end up costing yourself thousands with a do-it-yourself solution.

By working with an attorney who is accredited by the VA from the outset, you will always have an advocate on your side working to ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled as quickly as possible.  With this help, it may be possible to lower the chance that you will have to appeal a denial down the road, which will cost substantial additional time and anxiety.  Speak to a VA accredited attorney today to obtain the skilled guidance you need to take advantage of this great VA benefit!

Complimentary VA Aid & Attendance assessment.

VA Aid & Attendance–How Can I Correctly Choose Help for my Application Process?  FREE REPORT:  This complimentary report focuses on the various kinds of people one can consult when applying for the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit. Who one chooses can mean the difference between success and failure. Remember, if you are denied, you may not be able to reapply for up to a year or longer. Download our complimentary report for a behind the scenes look at the different types of people you can consult and the dirty underbelly of the Veterans Aid & Attendance industry.

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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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