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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Medi-Cal or MediCare…or Both?

By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Medi-Cal Benefits

The Presidential debate has featured a lot on who stole what from Medicare and why.  However, as former President Clinton pointed out last night in his speech during the Democratic National Convention, many seniors and middle-class Americans qualify for Medicaid (Medi-Cal ) as well.  Additionally, as the former president asserted, much of the Medi-Cal benefits paid for seniors pay for medical costs, in-home care, and other health expenditures, all of which can get extremely expensive when long-term care needs are involved.  

Governor Romney and Representative Ryan have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act and protect Medicare.  However, according to Ryan’s original plan, they would also turn Medicaid into a block grant plan, which would shift the primary funding responsibilities to the states.  The grants would be tied to inflation, even though healthcare costs have outpaced inflation for many years.  However, the idea is that by shifting the responsibility to the states, greater efficiency will be achieved.

Former President Clinton said in his speech, “Lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid….  And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s syndrome or autism or other severe conditions.”  As several states push against the Affordable Care Act, and even attempt to use the Supreme Court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business, et. al v. Sebelius to eject current Medicaid recipients, California has been taking the lead on Medi-Cal expansion and implementing the law.

Currently, seniors and their families considering institutionalized care may be able to stay in their homes longer than they otherwise could.  California’s large In Home Supportive Services program, individuals who are eligible for Medi-Cal and eligible for IHSS services already, may be better able to receive benefits, thanks to the Community First Choice program, created by the state.  Furthermore, according to a recent article, California intends to claim benefits retroactive to the beginning of the year immediately.  This means seniors who are already qualified may see some of their costs reimbursed under the Affordable Care Act.

Often seniors prefer to keep, and stay in, their own homes for as long as possible.  For many, the thought of institutionalized care is nerve-racking and difficult to deal with.  However, with increased accessibility to home-based health services many seniors can keep their autonomy and independence longer than they otherwise may.  Additionally, proper Medi-Cal planning can maintain the ability to keep a home, while maintaining flexibility in tax and long-term care planning.

If you or your parent has been considering a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, but aren’t ready to give up the family home, a QMap trust allows greater ease in selling the home if it becomes necessary after incapacity while preserving the income tax benefits of a primary home sale.  Additionally, a QMap Trust will help prevent Medi-Cal recovery against the estate, if necessary.  With proper planning, all the advantages of Medi-Cal can be gained, without suffering all of the drawbacks.  California has committed to some form of Affordable Care Act implementation, even if it is ultimately repealed by the next administration; however, planning for imminent issues and reviewing the plan regularly is always your best bet!

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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