Online resource center to help you explore these key issues, and others, regarding your estate.

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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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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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Zombie Estate Planning…


By merv,

  Filed under: Blog, Estate Planning

In honor of Comic-Con this week, I thought we could discuss some zombie estate planning, or rather, undead estate planning.  Recently, Adam Chodorow, a law professor at Arizona State University, proposed the idea that a huge gap exists in estate tax rules for zombies.  Although brain-hungry zombies, as they exist in pop culture, will hopefully never exist roaming our streets, the idea of being “undead” already exists.  For years, people have been cryogenically frozen in order to attempt to preserve themselves, with the hope that they can be reanimated when a cure is found.

Chodorow  poses a number of questions for this situation, such as: Can you continue to use your old Social Security number?  When do you get a step-up in basis (for estate tax purposes)?  Can the spouse you leave behind remarry?  He posed these questions, in part, to show the weaknesses in the law while taking current tax principals to their logical conclusions in the event there was a sudden zombie infestation.

The issue of life after life and whether there is a death in between may become a real issue in estate planning.  For example, assume that you will leave a fairly sizable estate to your children if you die naturally.  Instead of dying in due course, you instead ask to be frozen with the idea that perhaps 50 years from now you will be cured.  Assuming everything goes according to plan, you would be reanimated and broke if the law considered you dead at the time of your freezing; your estate would have long been distributed.  However, if the law does not consider you to be deceased upon freezing, your estate would be tied up for an indefinite period of time.  In general, the law promotes free movement of property and tries to avoid circumstances where property would be unused and stagnant for extended periods of time.

Although we probably do not need to consider the estate planning considerations for actual zombies, the way new technology can potentially change definitions of common terms, such as “death,” suggests that we should consider the implications of certain advances.  If, in the future, things like freezing become commonplace, it would be helpful to know what that means for property rights.

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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