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 Medicare Market…

By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Elder Law, Medi-Cal Benefits, Veteran's Benefits

Medical costs have been rising consistently over the last several years, far outpacing inflation and driving many individuals into bankruptcy.  There are a number of issues that lead to the problem.  Advancements in medicine are expensive, the population is aging so medical care is more in demand, and poor preventative measures mean bigger ailments are being treated.  These reasons are difficult, if not impossible, to rein in to manage costs of healthcare as a whole.

There are other aspects to the healthcare system that contribute to the increasing costs.  One large aspect is bureaucracy.  There is a perception that individuals have the ability to comprehend, manage, and make choices about their own care.  However, as stories like this show, we are ill-equipped to make ourselves savvy consumers. 

The whole idea behind a market is that consumers will choose among businesses competing for the consumers’ money.  However, in the healthcare market, consumers have a number of issues that prevent their decision-making process from being effective.  For one thing, sometimes the consumer-patient is not even conscious to make a decision.  Even if they are, no one gives them an idea of what things will cost, who is going to charge it, or what they should expect.  As a result, patients who are hospitalized for any amount of time will often receive a mountain of medical bills from each individual physician, the hospital itself, and sometimes different wings within the hospital.

To make matters worse, even if the patient was informed of the costs involved, it would consist entirely of hypothetical pricing.  The hospital bills differently depending on who will actually pay the bill.  Insurance companies generally pay significantly less than uninsured patients.  With the increased reliance many young healthcare consumers are placing on high-deductible plans and Health Savings Accounts, simply understanding the bureaucracy behind medical billing could be the first step toward driving down costs.
Ironically, for more elderly clients, the lack of a market may have been driving up costs.  Medicare has historically used a fee-for-service system.  However, over the course of the last year the government conducted an experiment to determine whether competitive bidding would save taxpayer money.  It did.  In fact, competitive bidding cut costs by 42% for medical equipment such as oxygen equipment and wheelchairs.  Because of the cost-sharing method between Medicare and patients, individuals also share in the savings.
If the experiment holds true as it is expanded throughout the country (intended for 2016), introducing the market to Medicare may save beneficiaries significant amounts of money each year, while also saving taxpayers.  Ensuring that you will qualify for Medicare when you need it should be part of your comprehensive estate plan.  You should also consider whether you qualify for V.A. Aid & Attendance benefits and whether a QMap  or QVap trust might be right for you and your family.

VA Aid & Attendance–How Can I Correctly Choose Help for my Application Process?  FREE REPORT:  This complimentary report focuses on the various kinds of people one can consult when applying for the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit. Who one chooses can mean the difference between success and failure. Remember, if you are denied, you may not be able to reapply for up to a year or longer. Download our complimentary report for a behind the scenes look at the different types of people you can consult and the dirty underbelly of the veterans aid & attendance industry.

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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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