Long term care is the type of care you will need if you are unable to perform some of the normal daily activities (such as dressing, eating, bathing, and toileting) without assistance, and if it is anticipated that you will need this help for an extended period, often for the rest of your life.

This kind of care is often needed due to chronic illness, aging, or injury, and almost all of us will need it for at least some time before we die. But it is not just for the elderly; many younger, working-age adults are currently receiving long term care due to injury, accident, or illness.

Long term care can be provided in-home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Wherever provided, it can become very expensive.

Home health care can get expensive quickly. Just 25 hours a week, at $16 per hour would cost $20,000 per year. Depending on the level of skill required, the number of hours needed and where you live, it may cost considerably more.

Assisted living facilities routinely cost more than $25,000 per year; the greater number of services you require, the higher the cost. Nursing homes, with round-the-clock care, easily can cost $50,000 or more a year. These costs will only go higher, thanks to increasing medical costs.

Remember, too, that you may end up paying these costs for a considerable amount of time. On average, a nursing home stay is about three years. If the patient has Alzheimer’s, the stay is typically even longer.

Did you know that health insurance, disability income insurance, and Medicare do not cover long term care claims?

Some health insurance plans do cover nursing home expenses but only for the short-term recovery of an illness or injury.

Disability income insurance replaces part of your income if you are unable to work after a specific length of time, but once again, it will not pay for long term care.

And finally, Medicare, which provides coverage for most people over 65, extends limited coverage for specialized care for a maximum of 100 days which begins as soon as a person is hospitalized. After the 100 days, the bill is all yours.

After reading the facts of this article, the question becomes: if long term care is needed, who will pay my bill? There are really only three options: 1. you (or your loved ones) pay out-of-pocket, 2. Long Term Care Insurance, or 3. Medicaid.

Long Term Care Insurance is the best alternative for many people. It is an especially good option for those who wish to avoid being a financial burden to others, those who have assets and income they wish to protect, and those who wish to have choices in the care they receive. Long Term Care Insurance gives you the option of receiving in-home care as well as care at a private pay facility. The premiums for Long Term Care Insurance are lower when a person is younger and in better health. The longer you wait, the likelihood of you not qualifying or the cost being prohibitive is much greater.

Medicaid pays the medical bills for hundreds of thousands of people in nursing homes around the country. However, since the program is intended to provide assistance to those who cannot support themselves (i.e. children, those with disabilities, the poor), it is mandatory for a person hoping to qualify for benefits to “spend down” their assets until they are practically penniless. If you are married, Medicaid limits your spouse on the amount of assets he or she can have in order for you to qualify. If you would prefer to have Medicaid pay for the cost of your long term care, rather than your personal assets, it is imperative that you make plans now. There are legitimate ways to structure your affairs so that, in the event you need long term care someday, your personal assets do not have to be spent on your care.

The experience and advice of a qualified professional can be most helpful when planning for long term care. If you have thought about trying to qualify for Medicaid, talking to an attorney who practices Elder Law before you do anything may be the best decision you could ever make. A simple, innocent mistake could disqualify you from receiving benefits for many months, or even years.

If you would like to review how long term care costs can affect you and learn how you can protect your assets, please contact us to arrange for a complimentary consultation.

Voeller Law Firm
About The Firm


    5 star review
    • Jim was exceptionally thorough in obtaining initial information from my wife and I regarding our plans for our estate. He gave us a great deal of advice and not once criticized for our lack of knowledge, rather he used this lack as vehicle to teach us more and then reinforced what we’d learned. We were in charge of making decisions but his advice was invaluable.

      Roger and June
      Roger and June
    • We are an older couple and we badly needed help getting our affairs in order. Mr. Jim Voeller took the time to explain what we needed to do and why. He answered all our questions and asked and answered questions we had not considered. We are very satisfied with the service he provided.

      Bob and Monique
    • Jim Voeller was very professional and friendly. I felt at ease with him, which made it very easy to talk about our estate and trust planning. He did an excellent job listening to us and explaining the needs of our trust. He shared the pros and cons of options in our planning which helped us be able to make the right decisions for our family. Jim completed our trust and will documents in a very timely manner and went over everything with us when we met with him to sign the documents. I know I can call him with any further questions and he will be there to help. I found Jim to be worthy of my trust. I highly recommend Jim Voeller.

    • My wife and I recently met with Jim Voeller to discuss the possibility of preparing a family trust for us. Our meeting convinced us that Jim was the attorney for the job. A detailed family trust plan was prepared by he and his staff that met all our expectations, and then some. The professionalism and friendliness of Jim and his staff made this a pleasant experience for my wife and I. We strongly recommend that anyone considering any kind of estate planning use the Voeller Law Firm.

    • Professional job. Took us by the hands and guided us through the whole process. Was able to explain all these complex legal issues in plain English to us.

    • Jim Voeller and his staff were very professional, extremely knowledgeable and friendly. We had done our research on a number of attorney’s and selected Voeller Law Firm for their in depth experience in estate and trust planning. Jim provided excellent examples of options to meet our planning wishes for our family. We were provided with all the trust and will documents in a timely manner and Jim covered with us in detail all documents. We can call him with any further questions and he will be there to help. We strongly recommend Jim Voeller and his staff.

      Eddie and Terry
    • Mr. Voeller’s performance is not just that of an excellent practitioner, it is that of a Master in creating Living Trusts. His knowledge of the subject is thorough, and his thought process is pertinent, clear, and precise. The presentation of his work is impeccable. Most impressive are his patience, professional attitude, thoroughness, and careful attention to individuals’ problems. It is hard to say that an interaction with a lawyer (Mr. Voeller) may be an enjoyable experience.

    • We first met Jim in 2008 to help us with establishing a Family Trust. Since then, we have asked Jim for additional assistance as our needs changes, including most recently in April 2017. Jim has always offered us great advice and we trust him with our estate planning. We recommend Jim and the Voeller Law Firm 100%.

      Tom and Nancy Tidwell
    • Jim set up a living Trust for my wife and I. He explained the details of the law and our options with care and clarity and his pleasant demeanor made the process enjoyable. I would highly recommend working with Jim.

      Voeller Law Firm Client
    • Jim helped us set up a Living Trust and transfer assets into it in order to bypass probate. He is always available to answer questions on what to do in order to avoid loose ends.

      Voeller Law Firm Client
    • My wife and I are extremely pleased with The Voeller Law Firm. Jim is exceptionally personable and knowledgeable. He offered suggestions, answered questions, gave real-life examples, and just generally made the process as easy as possible. We were pleased with the final results! We feel more at peace now that we have the proper legal framework for transferring assets to our children and grandchildren, and we trust the Voeller Law Firm to be there for us and our family in the future.

      Michael Bristow
    • My family has been blessed to meet Jim, David and the entire staff at The Voeller Law Firm. They have been not only knowledgeable, and skilled – but have also done a great job of helping us through the process. They explained and guided us through everything that was done, and were always available to answer questions, and explain what was going on. It is amazing to have an attorney that you can rely on – but even more amazing to have an attorney that you know you can trust. I highly recommend The Voeller Law Firm.

      Larry Andrews
    • We engaged the Voeller Law Firm to prepare a Trust for our family. David was thorough in covering the various options we needed to consider and patiently answered our many questions. After the initial meeting the firm went to work to create the plan and in our second meeting he took the time to review each element before we closed. Our experience couldn’t have been more positive. The peace of mind we now have, knowing we have this plan in place is wonderful. We would highly recommend the Voeller Law Firm for estate planning.

      Kevin Soelberg
    • Jim Voeller and his staff are committed to excellence. I’ve not met an attorney who is more knowledgeable in the area of estate planning. I highly recommend the Voeller Law Firm!

      Pam Correa
    • Very helpful and knowledgeable. Helped us develop a plan that made sense and will protect my family. Was so easy to do and very organized.

      Steve Howard
    • We found the Voeller Law Firm through a referral from an attorney who did not specialize in trusts and estate planning. We needed help with trusts when my mother moved here from Arizona and she had a complex group of trusts that were hard to understand. We give the Voeller Law Firm a 100% job-well-done rating, and should we ever need assistance with estate planning or trusts, we have found our attorney. We are certain anyone looking for estate planning help would be very pleased with the services Jim and his capable staff provide.

      Valerie Johnston
    • My family hired James Voeller for our estate planning. This process was painless and we found Mr. Voeller extremely thorough and organized. He took the time to answer every single one of our questions and explained our documents in a manner that explained the purpose for each document. He took a very painful process and turned it into peace of mind for our family. He also made sure we understood that any questions, just pick up the phone or email. He wanted to make sure we knew he was available to us at all times. I highly recommend him to anyone interested in planning their estate. My deepest appreciation for his expertise and commitment to his craft.

      Mike Hernandez
    • Having recently retired and relocated from Louisiana to Texas, our financial advisor suggested we develop a estate plan following the laws and guidelines of our new state of residence. We were referred to the Voeller Law Firm by a friend, an it proved to be one of the best referrals we have ever received. In our meetings with Jim Voeller, he thoroughly explained our options and answered all of our questions in a friendly, professional manner. In the end, we opted for a revocable living trust and are completely satisfied knowing that we now have an estate plan in place which will make it much easier for our children in the future. We would definitely recommend the Voeller Law Firm for estate planning.

      Sarah Sick
    • What a great experience. Everything was carefully explained and thoroughly covered with options we never considered. We procrastinated and always found excuses not to plan for the inevitable; it was uncomfortable. Do not make the same mistake. We now have clarity and understanding which provides relief, a burden was lifted from our shoulders. We highly recommend this very considerate and professional law firm. Good people.

      BG Haji
    • Mr. Jim Voeller’s legal advice and preparation of all necessary legal documents has I feel protected my family, and business, from any potential problems caused by dying (which we all do). I feel that should something happen to either myself, my wife, or both , my interests and wishes will be served by the execution of pre-positioned agreements and documents (Living Trust). I feel Mr. Voeller has more than adequately addressed my concerns for my family, children, and other eventualities. He is an individual with Ethics. He’s a man I trust without reserve, and has always been there for me when I’ve had questions.

      John and Isabelle Timms – Isabelles European Day Spa
    • We hired Jim to handle estate planning for my father-in-law whose care needs and costs were steadily increasing. He set up a special needs trust, updated his Will and POAs, applied to the VA to increase my father-in-law’s disability pension and recommended a financial advisor to help us invest the proceeds from the sale of his house. Everything was covered, soup to nuts, and because of the special needs trust, my father-in-law’s VA disability pension was doubled and will now, along with his other pension and social security, cover just about all of his long term care. We are very pleased. Jim is very competent and professional and always available to answer questions.

    • After my wife died, I sought out an estate planning attorney that could quickly get my current wishes into a will and trust for grandchildren. He understood what I wanted, asked the right questions to complete his work and produced the necessary documents within a week and organized for those I will leave behind.

    • Jim was both effective and efficient. He took the time to explain things to me, responded to email and telephone correspondence promptly, and completed the entire transaction in about 3 weeks. I would use him again if need be.

    • “Mr. Voeller established an estate plan/family trust for us. He also taught us how to handle bank accounts and our adult children’s accounts. He was very patient and answered questions in lay terms. He also set up an irrevocable trust for our elderly parents who could no longer handle their finances such that a CPA could pay their bills at the assisted living. In addition, he sent reminders for us to follow up and get accounts moved to the trusts.”

    • Jim Voeller was kind, courteous, and respectful of our wishes. He was very knowledgeable, answered all our questions and took us step by step through the Estate Planning process. We felt his fees were very reasonable.We feel very confident that all our estate needs have been addressed. We absolutely would recommend Jim Voeller.

      Jim & Betty
    • Mr. Voeller and his staff are professional, helpful, and thorough. We would recommend Mr. Voeller for all of your needs regarding the setup of living trusts. They assisted me in a timely manner and are always very helpful when I call with questions.

    • Jim was very knowledgeable and helpful. Due to the unique circumstances of my request, Jim was extraordinarily helpful in expediting the creation of my documents. You can’t beat Jim’s knowledge and experience and he provided a lot of good insight that helped us to create very flexible and efficient legal documents.

      Charles D.
    • I initially sought out Mr. Voeller for estate planning purposes as a result of him being well rated on I was not disappointed. He was friendly and well informed. He took the time to explain everything regarding an estate plan and seemed to give advice that benefited me and my family rather than his firm. Because I liked Mr. Voeller so much, I also used him to create a LLC and a DBA. My second use of Mr. Voeller was also a pleasure. He was again well informed and took the time to explain everything to me. I have sent him several follow up questions via email and he has always taken the time to respond and has always done so within 24 hours.

    • Mr. Voeller is an extremely knowledgeable and efficient estate attorney. My parents sought his advice and expertise in preparation for my mother’s double lung transplant in 2007. They spoke very highly of him and his office. After the birth of my first child, my husband I did not hesitate in contacting Mr. Voeller for our own estate planning. He is very welcoming and easy to talk with. He took his time in explaining all of our options. He has also provided guidance in helping us to plan for our grandparents. We hold him in high regard and look forward to a long working relationship.

      Voeller Law Firm Client
    • Most impressive: he listened. He took time to thoroughly understand our goals and preferences. He made his fee schedule clear and his staff was efficient. In addition to a hard copy of our estate planning documents, he provided DVD copies for us to file in secure location and send to key players.

      Voeller Law Firm Client
    • After our initial consult/interview with Mr. Voeller, our impression was that this was an estate planning and asset protection attorney with whom we could establish a rapport/relationship. Throughout the process of bringing our Living Trust documents up to date to meet current needs, Mr. Voeller was sensitive to our issues and goals. He offered options and pointed out the pros and cons of the options available. He did not overstate.

      Voeller Law Firm Client
    • My husband and I interviewed Jim Voeller based on recommendation from a local Financial Advisor because we had needed to update previously established Living and Charitable Trusts. The attorney who originally drafted our Living Trust documents retired; his partner, with whom we had met, was not a good fit for us. We began interviewing estate planning attorneys within reasonable driving distance of our rural local.

      Voeller Law Firm Client
    • David Voeller was our lawyer for the estate planning for my mother. My father passed away unexpectedly and had no will. We had no idea where we even needed to start. I found the Voeller Law Firm through a third party website and the reviews I read about him were great. Both David and his father Jim were fantastic to deal with. David kept me informed throughout the entire process and always answered any questions I had. David was the lawyer that went to court with us, and everything was very clearly explained in terms I could understand. If you need a layer to help you with your estate planning, then I would HIGHLY recommend David Voeller.

    • Jim was exceptional and the process of setting up the living trust was fast and painless! He had a lot of good ideas and was extremely helpful. We will certainly recommend him to others.

      P & C.G.
    • David Voeller handled my business with professionalism while always keeping my best interest first and foremost. I would highly recommend him to others and will use him again in the future. The Voeller Law Firm gave me peace of mind during a very trying time. David you are greatly appreciated! God bless you and yours always!

    • “Jim was exceptionally thorough in obtaining initial information from my wife and I regarding our plans for our estate. He gave us a great deal of advice and not once criticized for our lack of knowledge, rather he used this lack as vehicle to teach us more and then reinforced what we’d learned. We were in charge of making decisions but his advice was invaluable.”

      Roger and June
    • We are an older couple and we badly needed help getting our affairs in order. Mr. Jim Voeller took the time to explain what we needed to do and why. He answered all our questions and asked and answered questions we had not considered. We are very satisfied with the service he provided.

      Bob and Monique