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

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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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How Long is Long-Term?


By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medi-Cal Benefits, Veteran's Benefits

On those rare occasions when we are faced with the thought of our own mortality, the idea of dying slowly is uncomfortable.  Often we see spry 90 year olds and hope to be them.  We assume that when their time comes, it will be easily and in their sleep, just like we imagine it will be for ourselves.  However, the somewhat grim reality is that many of us will face a multitude of ailments that snowball and force us into the need for more and more care.   How long such ailments will last will determine how to pay for such care.

When chronic illness plagues us, there are a number of options to consider: in-home caretakers and skilled nursing facilities are among the most common.  When death appears to be imminent (i.e. within the coming six months), we may choose hospice care to provide comfort.  Although Medicare does cover hospice, it typically does not cover the other two.  These two uncovered options are extremely expensive and can quickly erode your estate without proper planning.  Given the likelihood that you will require these services, it is best to consider the available options now and let your preferences be known to your loved ones through your estate planning documents.

Your financial woes may be based on long-term care expenses.
Wartime veterans may apply for VA Aid & Attendance Non-Service Connected Disability Pension benefits.  This benefit can provide over $24,000 per year toward the cost of care.  Additionally, some VA facilities will subsidize the cost of skilled nursing care.  Aid & Attendance is a means-tested program, meaning certain asset and income requirements  must be met in order to qualify.  By planning ahead before applying, it may be possible for you to achieve and maintain eligibility more easily through various means, including a QVap Trust.

For other individuals, Medi-Cal may be the best option to pay for long-term care.  Also a mean tested program, an applicant must meet rigid asset requirements to qualify.  Planning before applying is helpful for determining exempt assets and eligibility, but it must also deal with the look-back period that could cause deferral of your eligibility (currently 30 months in California but soon to be 5 years).  For that reason, creating a QMap trust now may be your best option for obtaining eligibility when you need it.

People are living longer, which is generally seen as a good thing.  However, for many people, the last months, or years of their life require so much care that their entire life’s work can disappear into the pockets of hospitals, physicians, and caregivers.  By planning ahead, it is possible to preserve some of your assets for your heirs.

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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