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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How Well Does Medicaid Improve Health?

By merv,

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

A recently updated study may indicate that Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) is not actually as effective at improving health as originally thought.  However, people who receive Medicaid often feel healthier and are happier about their healthcare than individuals without Medicaid.    The study comes from researchers of the 2008 Medicaid expansion in Oregon, which expanded the program through a lottery system, allowing some people in and leaving others out.  Because the system was set up in this manner, the researchers were able to study the effects of Medicaid on otherwise very similarly situated people.

When the study was first completed in 2010, it indicated there were substantial benefits for Medicaid recipients.  However, in the new update, researchers dug deeper to compare actual health results for Medicaid recipients compared to individuals who did not receive Medicaid.  When comparing ordinary health risk factors, such as the prevalence of high blood pressure and cholesterol, the study did not find any benefit for Medicaid despite Medicaid recipients visiting the physician more frequently.  This new information is being used to argue that Medicaid expansion was not helpful.

However, keeping Medicaid and, for California purposes Medi-Cal, in perspective, the study only covered the first two years of the Medicaid expansion in Oregon.  For most Medi-Cal recipients, coverage is necessary for maintaining lifelong health or for enhancing or improving end of life care.  To learn whether the expansion would have an effect on these priorities would require a much longer study, a more targeted study, or both.  While significant physical differences between the two groups were not seen, there were other significant effects of Medicaid on participants.  Medicaid recipients were under less financial strain, used more preventive services, and were less depressed.

As healthcare costs continue to rise, Medi-Cal will remain an important benefit available for covering your needs.  By properly planning your estate in advance, through the use of a QMap Trust, it may be possible to obtain many of the advantages of Medi-Cal without subjecting yourself to impoverishment so that you may still leave a legacy to your heirs.  Medi-Cal coverage can improve your quality of life, particularly if you need substantial or long-term care.

Similarly, certain low-income wartime veterans may qualify for Aid & Attendance Non-Service Connected Disability Pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help cover the cost of long-term care.  In many cases, the eligible veteran’s spouse may also apply for and receive the benefit.  Aid & Attendance is not subject to estate recovery like Medi-Cal.  Planning in advance for dealing with the family home in Aid & Attendance may be achieved through the use of a QVap Trust.

It is important to learn how you can plan for long-term care before you need it.  By planning in advance, you can ensure that your family will be taken care of, you will be eligible for benefits, and that your increased health needs will not be a burden to you and your family.  According to Oregon’s study, you’ll be happy you did (within 2 years!)

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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