Issue 08
August 2011

From the purchase of your first home to planning your estate for your grandchildren – we strive to be your family attorney. In this monthly newsletter we will focus on relevant changes in the law that may affect you personally, or your business.  We will help detail how these changes may affect you, how you may take advantage of new changes in the law, as well as provide you with things to consider as you approach different milestones throughout your life. This newsletter will also serve as an outlet to keep you informed on all that is happening with Valerie A. Shivers, P.C..

In This Issue


  1. It's a Boy & Alzheimer's Assoc. Memory Walk...
  2. Setting up a College 529 Account for your Grandchildren...
  3. Appointing a Guardian for your Minor Children...
  4. Reverse Mortgages...

Focus Areas


Elder Law

  • Medicaid Planning
  • Guardianships
  • Veterans Benefits

Estate Planning & Administration

  • Wills & Trusts
  • Will Probate
  • Estate Administration
  • Advanced Directives
  • Special Needs Planning

Real Estate

  • Residential
  • Commercial

About Us


Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. is a full service law firm that specializes in legal issues related to protecting your family assets, as well as growing your personal wealth & real estate.  We pride ourselves in ensuring that there is a plan in place to properly secure your estate and prevent unnecessary tax penalties when acquiring new assets or transferring your current assets to your beneficiaries.

 What's New...


It's a...............Boy!!

After 9 months of anticipation I gave birth to a beautiful baby BOY. Mason Carter Shivers made his grand entrance into the world on May 1, 2011 at a whopping 9 lbs 4 oz. I’d like to say “Thank you” on behalf of myself and my husband for all of your kind thoughts and wishes.

Time for me to practice what I preach, and update my will, add a guardian, and re-evaluate our estate plan! 

As my family grows, so does my zest to grow VAS, P.C.  Since Mason's birth, my drive to provide the best, most personable legal experience for my clients, and support families with all of their legal needs has grown exponentially.

Alzheimer’s Association  Memory Walk – September 10, 2011

Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. will be walking in honor of our clients suffering from this debilitating disease and in memory of Valerie’s late grandmother, Virginia Ortega. Please visit our team website to learn more about this event or to make a donation in support of someone you love. .

 Elder Law Spotlight


Setting up a College 529 Account for your grandchildren…

With the rising costs of college tuition many of my clients are wondering how they will be able to cover the expense of their children’s education. An option worth investigating is a 529 account.

A 529 account is an investment account that allows an individual to save for college. While you pay income tax on the money you put into the plan, you do not pay income tax on the investment earnings once they are in the account or when they are taken out to use for college expenses such as tuition, room, board or other college related expenses.

Grandparents have the option to set up their own 529 accounts or contribute to those opened by a parent for the benefit of a grandchild. If you start early and save over time, this is a tax break worth thousands of dollars. It’s also one of the few lucrative tax incentives for savers that does not disappear when your income gets too high (the way it does with a Roth IRA retirement account, for instance).

If you are interested in creating a 529 account please contact our offices and we will put you in contact with a licensed financial advisor.

 Estate Planning Spotlight

Appointing a guardian for your minor children

Deciding who will raise your child in your absence is one of the toughest decisions you'll face as a parent. Many parents say the first step is to admit that no one is good enough.

Once you get past the idea that the best parent for your child is you and no one else can compare, you can move on to choosing the next best person. Make a list of all the possible candidates, and then sit down with your partner and talk over the pros and cons of each one.

A few things you may want to consider:

·           Whose parenting style, values, and religious beliefs most closely match your own?

·           Who is most able to take on the responsibility of a caring for a child — emotionally, financially, physically, etc.?

·           Whom does your child feel comfortable with already?

·           Would your child have to move far away, and would that pose any problems?

·           Does the person you're considering have other children? If so, would your child fit in or get lost in the shuffle?

·           Would the person have enough time and energy to devote to your child?

It’s very important to remember that unless you specifically name a guardian in your Last Will and Testament, anyone can step forward and ask for the job, and a judge will determine who gets custody. Choosing who would be best fit to care for your children in your absence is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make. That is not, however, a good enough reason to postpone the decision.  

No one knows better than you and your partner who can and should care for your children if you cannot… do not leave that decision for the courts to decide.

 Real Estate Spotlight


Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets you convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash. The equity that built up over years of home mortgage payments can be paid to you. But unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, no repayment is required until the borrower(s) no longer use the home as their principal residence or fail to meet the obligations of the mortgage. You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM proceeds and the sales price plus closing costs for the property you are purchasing.

If you are interested in receiving more information on reverse mortgages please contact our offices.  We will discuss this option in relation to your long term plan, and work alongside our approved list reverse mortgage specialists to place you into the best product possible. 


Please feel free to send your issues, questions or concerns to, or submit a question on our website to be addressed in upcoming editions of this newsletter.