Beware of Pennsylvania’s Parental Responsibility Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a Freehold, NJ Elder Care Attorney

Several times I am questioned whether a child has a legal obligation to support their parents particularly if the parents require long term care. I have routinely answered the question in the negative because New Jersey does not have any existing policies or procedures that compel an adult emancipated child to pay the nursing home/assisted living or other long term care expenses of their parent. While there are laws on the books which seemingly impose such an obligation, in fact, they have never been enforced and are not a real concern.

However, in the last several years, I have become aware of several cases decided in Pennsylvania which have imposed financial responsibility upon the adult children of an aging parent for the costs of long term care. One recent decision Eori vs. Eori is particularly disturbing in light of the fact that long term care costs cannot only bankrupt an aging individual but also their adult children particularly who have their own expenses as well as retirement and other recurring needs.

The purpose of this blog is to alert anyone and everyone who either has a parent residing in Pennsylvania or contemplates moving to Pennsylvania that such a move can result in an unforeseen and significant financial liability.

Filial responsibility law (translated means children responsible for the expenses of their indigent parents) is a troubling and profound issue.   I will continue to monitor other cases similar to this in the event that the scope of these decisions seems to be increasing.

To discuss your elder care matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

Are Income Tax Refunds Due to a Decedent Subject to Estate Taxes?

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a Freehold, NJ Estate Administration and Probate Lawyer

I have never really given much thought to the title of this blog. If I had, I would have probably answered the question yes, but apparently at least one estate thought not, and took the issue to the Tax Court.

In the article linked to this blog, the facts state that the decedent died before filing his income tax return for the prior calendar year. Once the return was prepared and filed but after his death, it showed the decedent was due a refund of $429,315. A smaller refund was also later determined to be due for the short year of the decedent’s death.

The decedent’s estate did not include the refund amounts on the estate tax return. The estate argued that the overpayment as of the date of death was not a property interest of the decedent – it was only a mere possibility or expectancy which would not be a property interest under applicable state law. It argued that there is no property interest until the refund has been declared by the Government.

The Tax Court determined that there were other cases acknowledging that tax refunds are part of the gross estate. Further, it noted that the IRS by law “shall” refund any balance due to the taxpayer – this mandatory obligation was clearly relevant. Thus, it included the refunds in the gross estate.

The Tax Court did note that if the refund could be subject to offset by the IRS for other tax liabilities of the decedent (i.e., other unpaid taxes to the federal, state and/or local governments), then case law would permit excluding the refund. That was not the case here, however.

I invite you to read this article. It’s a quick read.

To discuss your Estate Administration and Probate matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

 

Here’s Why You May Never End Up in a Nursing Home

Here is an interesting article entitled “There aren’t enough nursing-home beds to meet demand”, written by Dan McGrath, co-founder of Jester Financial Technology.

Click here to read the article

To speak to an elder care attorney, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at 855-376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.

 

CMS Confirms That Spousal Impoverishment Figures Will Remain the Same for 2016

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a Freehold, NJ Medicaid Attorney

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the spousal impoverishment and home equity limit figures will not change from 2015 levels next year.  This is because there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

This means that the 2016 community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) will continue to be a maximum of $119,220 and a minimum of $23,844.  The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance will remain $2,980.50 a month and the income cap stays at $2,199.  Medicaid’s home equity limits also remain unchanged at a minimum of $552,000 and a maximum of $828,000.

For CMS’s page on all the SSI and spousal impoverishment standards for 2016, click here.  For an informational bulletin that was attached to the figures, click here.

To discuss your NJ Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

Published by Elder Law Answers for Attorneys