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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Baby Mamas and Baby Daddys in Your Trust…


By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Estate Planning

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 divided among their own children, they must determine what happens to assets if any of their children predecease them.  Generally, that child’s inheritance will go to his children, the grandchildren.  The effect of this inheritance line could be significant and, if not adequately contemplated, could undermine the estate planners’ intent!

Frequently, personal property is inherited through either a letter to Trustee or some sort of lottery system created in the trust or will.  However, if the named beneficiary predeceases you, it is important to determine whether the item will go to one of your other children or whether it should descend to one of your grandchildren.  You may want to consider how involved your child was in your grandchild’s life, the grandchild’s age, and the grandchild’s other parent.  If your default provision is that items descend down the family lineage, you could end up giving treasured items to a child who can’t appreciate their value.

Particularly in cases where the grandchildren are minors, it is also important to determine who will be the trustee over assets the grandchildren inherit.  It may be the Successor Trustee you have chosen for the rest of your trust administration.  The successor could be the grandchild’s other parent.  You may even choose to appoint an independent third party, such as a financial institution or professional fiduciary.  The answer could depend on how closely your family associated with the child and the child’s parent and on how much you trust the parent.   In cases where your grandchildren have more than one unshared parent, the answer may also depend on your distribution provisions and how the property ought to be retained in trust.

Finally, it is wise to consider whether you would like the other parent to inherit anything.  Even though the remote beneficiaries rarely inherit, in cases where a trust may be in existence for a significant amount of time, determining whether an inheritance might outlive a grandchild is important.  Often, the last beneficiary’s estate may receive the final distribution.  In cases of a minor, the other parent or even your grandchild’s other siblings who bear no relation to you, could inherit the share of trust assets designated for your grandchild!

When your child has children from prior marriages or out of wedlock, it is important you receive competent and complete advice on your estate plan.  When meeting with your attorney to plan or review, discuss the role your grandchildren should play in your estate plan and what role, if any, the Baby Mama or Baby Daddy should play in receiving or managing any assets!

Estate Planning: The Price of Organization, Rewards, Gifts, and Wondrous Tax Things… FREE REPORT: This complimentary report, focused on Estate Planning, is comprised of many of Mr. Miller’s articles from his long running column for the largest regional newspaper in San Diego County. This report will guide you through the questions surrounding getting your estate planning in order.

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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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