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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Need Assisted Living? Finding the Best Community and Affording It!

By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Estate Planning, Medi-Cal Benefits, Senior Resources, Veteran's Benefits

An important question I get asked all the time is how do I find the best Assisted Living Facility (ALF)? That question is often followed by something like this, “I know my dad  needs assisted living and I want to get him the best option possible, but I’m not sure we can pay for it.” There is no universal answer that fits all, but the new website contains a great deal of information about ALFs, how to choose them and even provides a free rating tool to compare facilities. Also take a look at my step by step article, What To Do When Your Spouse Needs A Nursing Home and my blog article How Do You Choose a Nursing Home for information about what you should know when making a decision.

Searching for and selecting the right ALF for aging loved ones can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. There are more than 36,000 assisted living communities nationwide, according to the Assisted Living Federation of America, and the median rate for a private one-bedroom apartment is $2,575 per month, with 86 percent of residents paying from their own finances.

The problem with paying for an ALF is that typically Medicare won’t pay for it, as  Medicare only covers up to 100 days of “skilled nursing care” per illness, and an ALF is typically not skilled nursing.(See  “Think You’re Covered? Think Again. What Medicare doesn’t pay for…”)  Also, Medi-Cal generally will not cover ALF costs because it generally applies only to skilled nursing care as well.

Well, if neither Medicare nor Medi-Cal covers the cost of an ALF, then how do you pay for it?  There are two ways of helping to pay for the costs of an ALF we have discussed previously: Long Term Care Planning and the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Improved Pension Benefit.  Long Term Care Planning is a type of pre-planning with your assets to qualify in the future for Medi-Cal or other public benefits. If you visit Long Term Care Planning, Do You Need It?, you can learn more about this type of planning.

There are now more than one million seniors in assisted living communities, and that number is expected to double by 2030. According to research, 14 percent of family caregivers are caring for a loved one currently living in an assisted living facility, and about 50 percent have searched online for a senior living facility or for in-home care.

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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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