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WILLIAM H. STOUDT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/26/83)

decided: August 26, 1983.

WILLIAM H. STOUDT, SURVIVING SPOUSE OF EVA E. STOUDT, DECEDENT, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT. EVA STOUDT, DECEASED, BY COUNTY OF BERKS, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of In Re: Appeal of Eva Stoudt, dated November 5, 1980.

COUNSEL

Lee E. High, for petitioner, William H. Stoudt.

Alfred W. Crump, Jr., Assistant County Solicitor, for petitioner, County of Berks.

Bruce G. Baron, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, Doyle, and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 577]

William H. Stoudt (appellant) appeals an order of the Department of Public Welfare (Department) that his deceased wife, Eva E. Stoudt, was ineligible for medical assistance payments due to her status as the beneficiary of a testamentary trust created by her father. 3011 C.D. 1980. This appeal has been consolidated for argument with an appeal brought by the County of Berks (County) in order to protect its sources of payment for the care it rendered to the said Eva E. Stoudt by a County-operated facility known as the Berks Heim Nursing Home (Home). 3023 C.D. 1980.

3011 C.D. 1980

Eva E. Stoudt had been a medical assistance recipient at the Home beginning June 1, 1978. When the Home learned that she had become the beneficiary of a testamentary trust, it informed the County of her change in circumstances, and, after a hearing, the Department of Public Welfare determined that she was no longer eligible for medical assistance because the corpus of the trust was an available resource. See 55 Pa. Code ยงยง 177.81, 177.83(b)(2). Although she died on October 27, 1980, her husband survives her, and he is the appellant herein.

The Appellant contends that his late wife, as the beneficiary under the testamentary trust, had no incidents of ownership in either the corpus or the income of the trust. He also contends that the trustee did not abuse the discretion placed in him by the testator in not making available to the beneficiary portions of the principal of the trust.

An examination of the will which created the trust is in order, and, paragraph four thereof provides that:

[t]he rest, residue and remainder of the decedent's estate be ...


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