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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What are you saving for retirement? Now, Double it!

By merv,

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

No, really.  We’re serious this time.

You have probably been told over and over to increase your retirement savings.  Increased lifespans and higher costs of living have contributed to increased projections for what you actually need for retirement.  More recently the retirement accounts of many Americans have taken a beating as a result of the current economic downturn.  But now looms a potentially even bigger issue.

First, when you take your money and place it in a retirement account, it generally does not remain there as cash.  Instead, it is invested in the market.  Briefly, the “market” consists of stocks and bonds which are bought and sold among willing buyers and willing sellers for what each party thinks is a fair price.  It does not necessarily bear a direct relationship to the health of the underlying companies.  Instead, it has its own supply and demand.  When something like the economic downturn happens and stock begins trading at lower prices across the board, it often means that investors are trying to sell their stock, but no one wants to buy it.  Sellers lower their expectations of what price to expect until some buyer decides to purchase the stock.  In economic recessions, the cause is fear and panic in the market.

So why am I giving you a brief lesson in the economics of a recession?  Am I predicting a market frenzy due to some new crisis like the housing crisis?  No.  But it serves as a useful model for something much more predictable and much more difficult to prevent: the population is getting older.  Basically, the older population is going to retire and they will want to sell the assets in their retirement accounts to get cash to live on.  In order to do so, they will have to sell to someone.  Relatively speaking, there will be fewer people to buy.  At least, that’s the conclusion touted in this recent Wall Street Journal interview.   It is, essentially, another way to get to a result similar to the current market: too many sellers, not enough buyers.

The interviewee essentially predicts that with slow rates of return and inflation adjustments, the net growth in baby boomer retirement accounts will approach 0% in the coming years.  As such, more aggressive saving will be needed to counteract the decreased rate of return you can expect within your retirement account.

Planning for retirement is one important facet of your long-term care and estate planning.  Additionally, speaking to an attorney to learn how you can “have your cake and eat it too” can help ensure that all the time you have spent saving for retirement isn’t wasted on large medical bills.  Proper planning for Medicare, Medi-Cal, and, if applicable, VA Aid & Attendance benefits can help preserve your eligibility for these programs while protecting your nest egg for personal expenses during your life and for your heirs.    Remember that your long-term planning should not happen entirely inside or entirely outside a lawyer’s office.  Coordinating your financial planning and retirement goals with your estate planning documents is the best way to ensure that your goals are met.

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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