Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Son Liable for Nursing Home Bill Under Filial Responsibility Law

A Pennsylvania appeals court recently found a son liable for his mother's $93,000 nursing home bill under the state's filial responsibility law.

His mother entered a nursing home for rehabilitation following a car accident. She later left the nursing home and moved out of the country, leaving a large portion of her bills unpaid. She filed an application for Medicaid, which is still pending.

The nursing home sued the son, under the state's filial support law, which requires a child to provide support for an indigent parent. The trial court entered a verdict in favor of the nursing home, despite the son's appeal arguing the court improperly put the burden of proving his inability to support his mother on him, and that the court should have considered alternate forms of payment such as Medicaid.

However, the verdict stood, as the Superior Court stated the law does not require the court to consider other sources of income or to stay its determination pending the resolution of a Medicaid claim.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Impact of American Taxpayer's Relief Act (ATRA)... "Portability"

One of the most significant changes associated with The American Taxpayer's Relief Act (ATRA) is that the "portability" of the federal estate tax exemption between married couples has become permanent and inflation-adjustable. 

While this is generally good news for married people (in 2013, a married couple can pass on up to $10.5 million to their heirs free from federal estate taxes), there are potential complications in situations involving second or third marriages.

Surviving spouses might also be required to file certain IRS forms, or run the risk of losing the deceased spouse's exemption.