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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The Hurricane of Unknown Events…


By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Estate Planning

Over the weekend “Frankenstorm,” also known as Hurricane Sandy after it merged with a Nor’easter ravaged the east coast and much of the Midwest with high winds, a lot of rain, snow, and sleet.  Because so many San Diego residents are transplants, chances are good that you or someone you know is in the densely populated areas of the east coast suffering damage from this storm.  I hope that your family, friends, and loved ones have made it through the storm with their lives and property intact.

However, as more and more information is released about the devastation caused by the storm, it is clear that some people were not so lucky.  Similarly, San Diego is not immune to natural disasters.  Some parts of the county suffer deadly blizzards, earthquakes, and other environmental hazards.  One lesson to learn from such incidents is that you can never be too prepared and it is never too early to begin planning.

Often, young, unmarried individuals and young couples neglect estate planning until the occurrence of some future event such as, marriage, buying a home, or having children.  As they get older, they may continue to put it off “until they have time” or until they have extra money.  The assumption is that there is always tomorrow, but as disasters can remind us, the assumption is not always accurate.  Even outside the world of natural disasters, issues such as sudden illness and car accidents can bring a lack of preparedness to the forefront.

Consider, for example, the Terri Schiavo case.  Although the case ended seven years ago in Florida, it remains an important cautionary tale to estate planners and clients alike.  In her case, she was only 27 when she collapsed of cardiac arrest.  She was not allowed to die via removal of artificial nutrition and hydration until 15 years after the incident and seven years of litigation.  Perhaps more importantly, Terri Schiavo was robbed of privacy and dignity in death as her family’s struggles became a nationwide controversy about making end of life decisions without advance planning.  Everything from her diagnoses to images of her became open to public scrutiny.

In short, once you receive warning of a natural disaster or suffer an accident, it is all too often too late to ensure that you, your loved ones, and your property will be safely taken care of.  By taking a serious look at your financial and personal situation with your attorney, no matter in what stage your life is, can help determine what type of protection you need to maintain your personal property.  In some cases, it may be advisable to create a simple will or a trust.  In other cases, it may be important to ensure your eligibility for long-term care in case it becomes necessary through the use of a QMap trust.  Similarly, if you are a veteran, you may prefer a QVap trust.  Additionally, effective use of other financial planning tools and insurance may be in order to make sure that your estate is sufficiently protected no matter what happens or when it happens!

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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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