Issue 05
December 2010
Welcome to the Law Offices of Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. 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. What's New With VAS, P.C.
  2. Elder Law Spotlight
  3. Estate Planning Spotlight
  4. Real Estate Spotlight

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 with VAS, P.C.?


Polar Bear Plunge – Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. generally supports the Long Beach Polar Bear Club, and this year is no different… with one twist.  We usually sponsor a group of Polar Bears in their plunge into the icy cold waters of Long Beach on Superbowl Sunday to support the Make a Wish Foundation, however, this year, we are changing directions a bit to support someone in the VAS P.C. extended family.  We will be sponsoring a group of Long Beach Polar Bears, along with my husband Mark Shivers, in their plunge to support and honor Nick Croce in his fight against cancer.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate in “the plunge” or donate to this cause

 Elder Law Spotlight


Money Woes Can Be an Early Clue to Alzheimer’s…

As we age we tend to get a little more protective over our finances. You may even notice your own parents or grandparents, who were once overly generous with their money, beginning to “tighten their belts” for no apparent reason. Perhaps you find them complaining about how much everything costs, obsessing a bit over their expenses, expecting you to pick up their expenses like paying for all of their meals or even expecting you to pay to have their lawn mowed.  They may even justify it by saying “after all, this home will someday be your inheritance”. Very often we chalk this behavior up to “getting old”, however, these seemingly innocent acts may actually be signs of a much deeper issue.

Research shows one of the first signs of impending dementia is an inability to understand money, credit, contracts and agreements. It is possible that your parent or grandparent  may find him/herself unable to keep track of their finances and embarrassed to admit the fact.

It is important to be aware of your parent’s financial issues and to offer assistance from time to time. For a real life example of this, and for more information on some early signs of dementia dictated by money management, refer to the article below: 

Please do not hesitate to contact our offices if you detect any early signs of dementia.  We here at Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. are experts in developing plans  to protect your parent(s) and their assets, to ease them through this difficult transition, and generally put their minds at ease around topics that concern  their finances

 Estate Planning & Administration Spotlight

Reasons to Update Your Will and Estate Plan…

Once an individual creates a Last Will and Testament they often place it in a safe deposit box or leave it with their estate planning attorney and forget about it. It is important to remember that a well written estate plan should change and evolve as often as your family and/or lifestyle changes and evolves. We have compiled a list of reasons which may prompt you to review your Will and other estate planning documents:

1.       The individuals you have named as beneficiaries of your Will are seriously ill or deceased.

2.       The individuals you have named as Executor of your Will or Trustee of your Trust are seriously ill or deceased.

3.       New people should be named in your Will (adoption, new births, etc.)

4.       Divorce or marriage.

5.       New state laws. You should periodically check to see whether your state has enacted new laws that impact your estate planning document, or contact your estate planning attorney who will be well versed on any changes that have occurred.

6.       You have moved to a new state.

7.       Children reach the age of eighteen.

8.       You have retired.

9.       A substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate.

10.  The acquisition or disposition of a significant asset – especially out of state property.

The passage of time is reason enough. You should review your Will and estate planning documents every two to five years

Real Estate Spotlight


Top Ten Things to Consider When Buying a Home…

Buying a home for the first, second, or even third time can be both nerve-wracking and exhilarating.  A good real estate attorney will handle and assist with any obstacles that a homebuyer may encounter once their offer is accepted. However, there are a few things for a prospective homebuyer to consider even before they lay eyes on their perfect home:

1.       Don’t buy if you can’t stay put.

2.       Start by shoring up your credit.

3.       Aim for a home you can afford.

4.       If you can’t put down 20% you may still qualify for a loan.

5.       Buy in a district with good schools.

6.       Get professional help.

7.       Choose carefully between points and rate.

8.       Before house hunting, get pre-approved.

9.       Do your homework before home-bidding.

10.  Hire a home inspector.

Check out this CNN website for a more detailed explanation of each of the 10 “tips”


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.