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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Long Term Care Planning, Do You Need It?


By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Medi-Cal Benefits

The short answer is yes, everyone needs to think about long-term care planning. The more complicated answer is: What type of care will you need? What will it cost? How will you pay for it? No one can say for sure that you will end up in a nursing home, but statistics show that for a 50 year old man in excellent health, the odds are 39% that he will need long term care consisting of approximately 1 year of in-home help and 2 years of assisted living or nursing home care.

How did I come up with those numbers?  Medicare.gov provides a planning tool to help estimate your individual cost of care. It asks for your age, your health status, and whether you have family to help you. It also asks some broad questions about income and whether you have the resources to start saving now for the cost of care.  After gathering three screens of information, it will tell you what your average cost of care might be.  Of course this is in today’s dollars, with today’s calculation of what government help is available through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

After last Tuesday’s vote to raise the debt ceiling, there is one thing we know for sure, Congress has agreed to allow the President to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for $2.4
trillion in budget cuts over 10 years. How this deal will affect the three major programs crucial to the elderly — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — may not be known until almost year’s end, but the impact could be significant.  The Wall Street Journal’s reporter Suzy Khimm gives her take on the  Five cuts the debt commission might make to medicare, Medicaid.

If you are facing an immediate need for nursing home care, our article on Medi-Cal
(Medicaid) Exemptions and Allowances
can help you to understand whether you qualify for help with costs now.  Another consideration is whether you or your spouse has ever served in the military.  There may be a VA benefit available to help out with in-home care or assisted living. It’s called the Veterans Non-Service Connected Disability Pension, or Aid & Attendance Benefit.

The bottom line is no matter how much you save or how well you plan, you may find that your retirement savings is not enough. That is why pre-planning for Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) or other public benefits is so important as part of your overall estate plan.

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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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