Hmm, that suggests that the $55 bill I paid after my father's death is too much trouble to worry about 🙂
However, the bulk of the question had to do with my mother's facility expenses that were paid long before her death. Can I take the clause: "expenses paid during the taxable year" as confirmation of Opus 17's answer?
Because your parents are basically "one taxpayer" when filing a joint return, and your father is allowed to file a joint return for 2018 since his wife died mid-year, the special rule does not apply. You can deduct on your father's joint 2018 return all the expenses he actually paid for his wife's care in 2018 even if some expenses were paid after she died.
For your father's 2019 return, he will file as single (or possibly as a qualified widower if he provided care in his home for a qualifying dependent). He can deduct on his 2019 return, all expenses actually paid before he died. It is only expenses paid after he died, where you have to choose whether to deduct them on his personal return or his estate's return and include the explanation statement.
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