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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Are your benefits At Risk?

By merv,

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

As Congressional legislatures bully each other over proposed budgets, debt ceilings, and other financial priorities, the fate of many veterans hangs in the balance.  Indeed, the financial fate of over 5 million veterans is at risk.  The VA will run out of money by November 1st and will be unable to pay VA Aid & Attendance Non Service Connected Disability Pensions, disability benefits, G.I. Bill benefits to surviving veterans.

In an effort to fund government programs other than Obamacare, House Republicans have attempted to pass a number of bills to fund various popular portions of the government, including the VA and national parks.  However, those efforts have been rebuffed by the Senate and the President in favor of a more sweeping resolution.  Veterans’ groups are crying foul as other real impacts from the federal shutdown weigh against surviving soldiers and their families.  The already astronomical backlog of disability claims is growing again after a period of subsiding.  Additionally, for former soldiers making the transition to civilian life, vocational rehabilitation programs and Labor Department programs that help veterans find jobs are laying off staff or suspending service altogether.

Similarly, the VA is constantly working with other federal departments, including the Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  As a result, a bill to fully fund the VA cannot happen in a vacuum because the agency would be stonewalled against pursuing interagency cooperation to achieve its goals.

VA benefits are vital to the survival of many people who were willing to lay down their lives for the benefit of the nation.  For elderly veterans who have trouble with daily tasks, the Non-Service Connected Disability Pension (Aid & Attendance) helps wartime veterans obtain the care and aid they need.  The payment is also available to spouses and surviving spouses of wartime veterans.  In order to qualify for the benefit in the first place, veterans must show that they need it by meeting certain income requirements.  As a result, the veterans most affected by the shutdown are those least able to afford the hit.  These benefits pay for nursing care, home care, and assistance with daily tasks such as dressing, cooking, and cleaning, which allows many veterans to remain in their homes during their old age.

I am confident that, eventually, our government will resume normal functioning and that Aid & Attendance benefits will continue to be a useful financial resource for many elderly veterans.  Additionally, planning ahead for the benefit, through the use of a QVap Trust, allows veterans to maintain the flexibility to deal with their assets without losing benefits once they have initially qualified.  However, the government’s refusal to honor its financial commitments to veterans is not encouraging to those who are currently in need of the funds.  Of course, the most heartbreaking aspect of this conflict is that it is unnecessarily putting veterans at risk for the sake of political brinksmanship.

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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