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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I Hate the Hospital!

By merv,

  Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Insurance, Medi-Cal Benefits

It seems that most people do not like going to the hospital.  It is even more difficult to force someone else to go to the hospital when they need it.  For one thing, going to the hospital frequently means that you are pretty ill or have suffered a pretty serious injury.  For another, it is possible to leave the hospital more sick than when you went in!  Indeed, a new Frontline documentary, called “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria” airs this week and tracks the spread of drug-resistant bacteria in hospitals.  Furthermore, the hospital is one of the most expensive methods of obtaining treatment; your wallet is probably none too fond of the place either.  Obamacare aims to take direct aim at this issue through its expansion of Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) and insurance coverage in an attempt to lower overall healthcare costs.  Planning for your medical care and long-term care in advance may help you avoid the need to crisis-based hospitalizations.

Most people who are in the hospital for any length of time are fairly seriously ill.  Additionally, sick people with contagious diseases are constantly rotating through the doors.  Visiting the hospital for primary care, particularly through the emergency room, causes a lot of potentially unnecessary expense and stress. Visiting the emergency room can result in long waits for short visits with physicians who are not familiar with your medical history.  Additionally, repeat visits are often necessary due to symptom management rather than comprehensive treatment, and exposure to additional bugs. Alternatively, regular physician visits can help you catch and treat issues early.  Effective early treatment and health advice may improve your chances of remaining at home during your old age.

Unfortunately, regular physician visits and screenings have also historically been expensive.  With the advent of Obamacare, many basic services will be free, including diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure screening.  This will be true for all Marketplace plans, regardless of their deductible or copayment requirements.  Additionally, many common vaccines will be free of charge, including an annual flu shot.  Women receive a number of additional healthcare services for free, including breast cancer genetic testing, a la Angelina Jolie, and osteoporosis screening for women over 60.  For individuals who are not receiving Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits and are purchasing insurance on the Covered California health exchange, every available plan will offer these services.

However, even with improved insurance options, it is important to plan for long-term care in case it becomes necessary.  By planning ahead for Medi-Cal coverage, you may be able to seamlessly transition from private insurance to Medicare and Medicaid once you require the additional coverage.  In order to plan ahead for Medi-Cal benefits, it is helpful to create a QMap Trust.  Through the use of this special kind of trust, you may preserve the tax benefits of home ownership, increase flexibility for your family, and preserve assets for your heirs.  Unlike other forms of insurance, Medi-Cal is considered a loan so preventing Medi-Cal reimbursement claims may be an important aspect of planning ahead for coverage!

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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