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About Me

MERWYN J. MILLER, J.D. (Merv) has co-authored two books.  The most recent, Don't Go Broke in a Nursing Home, is a guide for those needing to navigate the difficult road to affording the cost of assisted living, in home care, and skilled nursing for loved ones.He also co-authored a legal text book (Understanding California Real Estate Law).  


Merv has been an estate planning attorney for almost 40 years and an elder  law attorney for well over 20 years.  In addition to estate planning he assists  families in obtaining Medi-Cal and veterans benefits and often coordinates with the families’ financial advisor.

Merv is an estate planning and elder law attorney with an active law  office in Encinitas, San Diego County, California.  He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1974 and has been certified by that organization's Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in Estate Planning,  Trust, and Probate Law. Merv  earned his law degree at California Western  School of Law in San Diego, California, and holds a Masters degree in Financial  Services with an emphasis in Estate Planning.  He is accredited by the Veterans Administration under accreditation number 9055.  He has taught law courses at both public and private colleges and for many years  served as a member of the adjunct faculty of the College for Financial Planning.


He wrote legal columns for many local papers, including the largest regional  newspaper in San Diego County (the Blade Citizen and its successor, the North  County Times), and professional journals for 15 years.  He has appeared on the "Wealth Management" television series and has been  listed in "Who's Who in American Law." 

Merv is a frequent lecturer on estate planning  topics to other attorneys and allied professionals including having presented at Continuing Legal Education, Society for  Financial Service Professionals, International Association for Financial Planning,  and Estate Planning Council conferences and the Trusts and Estates Section of the North County Bar Association.

Merv is well known to a host of insurance  and investment firms.  He enjoys traveling, dining on gourmet food and wine, golfing, reading about the American Western Frontier and the Civil War, and coaching youth basketball teams.


Practice Areas


  1. Probate: 35%
    37 years
  2. Elder Law: 35%
    19 years
  3. Estate Planning: 30%
    37 years


Payment Types:


Attorney Endorsements

3 total 

  • Kevin Kreg Forrester

    Merv is an excellent lawyer. He is my first and only choice when referring clients with estate planning needs, and we have worked together over the last decade on the administration of more than one decedent’s estate. I continue to rely upon his expertise without hesitation, and recommend that you do so as well.


    Kevin Forrester Real Estate Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • No photo

    I have come to rely on Merv's insight and expertise in the varied areas of law that apply to elders and veterans in California. His experience, his attention to detail and success advocating for his clients and their families have all contributed to his reputation as a leading authority in the field of Elder Law.


    Michael Mcguire Elder Law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community



Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Department of Veterans Affairs AccreditationDepartment of Veterans Affairs2008
Accredited Estate PlannerNational Assoc. of Estate Planners & Councils2005
Speakers Bureau MemberEstate Planning, Trust, & Probate Law Section, California State Bar2001
Certified Specialist--Estate Planning, Trust, & Probate LawCalifornia State Bar Board of Legal Specialization1993
Who's Who in American LawN/AN/A
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
PresidentMJ Miller Law Offices1989 - Present
Legal Columnist for Largest Regional Newspaper in CountyNorth County Times1995 - 1997
Legal Columnist for largest regional newspaper in CountyBlade Citizen1982 - 1995
PresidentMJ Miller Law Offices1978 - 1988
ShareholderMorris & Miller1975 - 1977
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Rotry Club of EncinitasChair Soccer Tournament Committee2013 - Present
Rotary Club of EncinitasPast President2013 - 2014
Rotary Club of EncinitasPresident2012 - 2013
Calif. Western Law SchoolAlumni Career Advisor-Estate Planning2011 - Present
Rotary Club of Encinitas, CaliforniaBoard of Directors2011 - Present
Rotary Club of Encinitas, CaliforniaPresident Elect2011 - 2012
Rotary Club of Encinitas, CaliforniaPresident Nominee2010 - 2011
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Southern Calif. Chapter)Member2008 - Present
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysMember2006 - Present
Society of Fiancial Service ProfessionalsN/A2005 - 2010
Rotary Club of Encinitas, CaliforniaBoard of Directors2003 - 2005
Alumni Mentor Program--Cal Western School of LawMentor--Estate Planning1999 - 2011
Clinical Internship Program-Cal Western School of LawSupervising Attorney--Estate Planning1999 - 1999
University of PhoenixAdjunct Faculty1998 - 2000
North Coastal Estate Planning CouncilCo-Founder1992 - Present
Rotary Club of Encinitas, CaliforniaBoard of Directors1992 - 1994
Rotary Cub of Encinitas, CaliforniaMember1992 - Present
College for Financial PlanningAdjunct Faculty1988 - 1999
Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Section, Calif. State BarMember1986 - Present
California State BarMember1974 - Present
The American CollegeExternal FacultyN/A
Publication NameTitleDate
Don Quante PublicationsDon't Go Broke in a Nursing Home (San Diego Edition)2014
NAELA NewsMerv's 5 Rules for Running a Micro Practice2013
NAELA NewsConverting to Paperless: A Trusts & Estates Attorney's Perspective2011
In Your Service: The Veteran's FriendThe QVap Trust: Have Your Cake & Eat It, Too2007
Continuing Legal Education-National Business InstituteHow to Draft Effective Wills & Trusts for Your Clients in California2006
Law Office ComputingConverting to Paperless---A Trust & Estate Attorney's Perspective2003
Understanding California Real Estate LawBook used at numerous community colleges for Real Estate Licensee Prerequisite Course1977
Blade Citizen NewspaperNeewspaper Column: Real Estate and the LawN/A
North County TimesNewspaper Column: Real Estate and The LawN/A
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
College for Financial PlanningFinancial Services (Emphasis: Estate Planning)MS-Masters1992
Calilfornia Lutheran UniversityFinancial PlanningFinancial Planner Professional Ed Prog Cert of Completion1988
California Western School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1974
University of California - Los AngelesPsychologyBA - Bachelor of Arts1970
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
NAELA Spring Conference, So Cal ChapterThe Use of Irrevocable Trusts in Medi-Cal & VA Planning: A Practical Approach2015
Panel DiscussionMaking the Move to Senior Living: How and Why2012
Thought Leadership Series Law Firm National WebinarA Paperless Office--The Real World Approach2011
North Coastal Estate Planning Council MeetingVeterans Benefits & the Medi-Cal Intersection2010
SFSP Allied Professionals Education DayVA Benefits and the QVap Trust2009
North County Bar Probate & Estate Planning Seciton MtgVA Benefits and the QVap Trust2008
North Coastal Estate Planning Council MeetingVA Benefits and the QVap Trust2008
Veterans Benefits Advisors National MeetingQVap Trust and Veterans Benefits2007
SFSP--Allied Professionals DayInheritance Disasters I Have Seen2007
Cont Legal Education--How to Draft Wills and TrustsEthics and Estate Planning2006
Cont Legal Education--How to Draft Wills and TrustsHow to Draft Wills & Trusts for Your Clients in California2006
SFSP--Allied Professionals DaySmart Strategies to Leave the Wealth to the Kids2005
North Coastal Estate Planning CouncilGoing Paperless2005
Accountancy Professionals WorkshopBroadening Your Services: Basics of the Accounting Report2003
U.S. Marine Corp Legal Assistance Staff Attorneys EducationSmall Estates Procedures & Procedures for Minors2001