Issue 06 (Issue Dedicated to Virginia Ortega)
January 2011
On behalf of Valerie A. Shivers, P.C., we would like to wish you a happy new year and thank you for your continued patronage. We thank each of you who have recommended our law firm to your family members, friends, relatives and neighbors. We value you as our client and friend and know that your legal issues deserve our undivided attention.   We hope you had a happy and healthy holiday season and wish you all the best in 2011! 

In This Issue


  1. The Season of Miracles & Giving...
  2. Giving Thanks to 2010...
  3. The Genesis of VAS, PC...

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.

 The Season of Miracles and Giving...


During the season of miracles and giving, it’s important to remember the causes of those we have loved and lost and support the causes of those searching for miracles all around us today. As we ring in the new year, Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. is supporting two causes that are near and dear to our hearts.

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. 

Below is a link where you will be able to read about Nick Croce’s inspirational story and make a donation to assist in researching a cure. We encourage you to make a donation on behalf of Nick’s fight and back the extreme efforts we are going to in order to raise awareness and supports Nick’s cause.  Through the generosity of others, every donation inspires Nick to continue his fight, strengthening his resolve to believe in a miracle.  Miracles do happen!

2011 Alzheimer’s Memory Walk  – September 10, 2011

We are donating to and supporting the Alzheimer’s Foundation in remembrance of Valerie’s grandmother, Virginia Ortega and all of the VAS, P.C. clients and extended family that have suffered through, or are currently suffering from this terrible affliction. 

Please make donations at

Please believe in miracles, believe in a cure, and help support these two very important  causes…..

 A Message from Valerie A. Shivers - Giving Thanks to 2010 and Remembering How I Got Here!


Valerie A. Shivers P.C. is starting off 2011 where 2010 left off.  We are continuing the season of giving – a time to be thankful, a time to celebrate with family and friends, a time to reminisce and a time to reflect on our good fortune. I just celebrated my one year anniversary as owner of Valerie A. Shivers,  P.C. Naturally, I can’t help but give thanks to all of you, family, clients, friends, clients who have become friends, and all of you whom  have helped me to build and establish this wonderful law practice.

I also can’t help but remember someone who has supported me in all aspects of my life. Although I usually focus my monthly newsletter on updates in each of the different areas of law this firm focuses on, I decided to dedicate my December/January newsletter issue to my late grandmother, Virginia Ortega, someone I aspire to be like, whose memory gives me the strength and compassion to support those families whose loved ones are suffering from aging disabilities, and give you an insight into what drove me to start in this profession in the first place.

 A Message From Valerie A. Shivers - The Genesis of Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. and Remembering Why This Firm is Focused on Helping Others.


I come from a very close knit family. I grew up having Sunday dinners with my parents, grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. I had always had a special relationship with my grandmother. My grandmother was a widow at a fairly young age but that never seemed to affect her zest for life. She was a world traveler and would often go with groups of other singles to exotic places like Egypt or Jerusalem.  Although she retired at a young age she continued working at a medical clinic just to keep herself busy. She also baby sat for my younger cousins and went out to dinners with her endless supply of good friends. She was loving and giving, with an infectious laugh and a smile that could light up the darkest day. She was a world-wind of energy and to know her was to love her.

Upon graduating from Binghamton University, I and moved in with my grandmother. She lived alone in a big house and her home was much closer to Hofstra University – where I would begin studying law – than my parent’s home was. She was very happy to have me move in with her. She and I would cook together, watch television together, shop for food together, and while I would study she would read her romance novels. Occasionally, my grandmother and I would vacation together.

In 2006 I began to notice a slight change in my grandmother’s behavior.  She was easily irritable, worried about money, and every now and again would forget dates or appointments, which was very abnormal for her. I noticed she was not dining out with her friends as much and travel ceased.  In the summer of 2006 we received a call late at night from the hospital. Apparently my grandmother had been in a car accident, however, she was confused and unable to remember anyone’s phone number. Luckily she carried our information on a card in her wallet. We rushed to the hospital to later learn that she was exhibiting signs of early dementia. From that day on my grandmother’s condition deteriorated quickly. My family and I would take shifts watching my grandmother. It was important to us that she remained comfortable in her own home and not in a nursing home.  Each day brought on a new obstacle. We would find ourselves locking the doors and hiding the keys so that she couldn’t escape and hurt herself. We needed to remove the knobs from the oven so that she would not burn herself. We would play games with her in order to convince her to eat or take her medication. Eventually we hired a live-in home health aide until it became impossible to keep her safe at home. She refused to get out of bed, or even perform daily life sustaining activities like eat or drink.  Eventually we were left with no choice but to move her into a nursing home. My grandmother was in a nursing home for only 13 days before she passed away.

I tell this story for a few reasons.  I know it does not seem like a riveting or out of the ordinary story, in fact, my family may seem very much like yours. That is one of the reasons I share this personal experience with all of you. It is so important that you are aware of your parents or grandparents behavior so that you can be there to help them through the difficult times. It is important to inquire into your family member’s mood swings, rather than chalk up irritable behavior to “old age”. Be aware of your parent’s health so that you can provide them with the care they need.  This will enable you to plan ahead and make sure they at least have a Last Will and Testament, health care proxy, power of attorney as well as other affairs and documents in order so that if and when they should need home care or nursing home care – it will be a simple transition unaffecting their financial status.

More importantly I tell you this story because I deal with families going through the very same scenario I posed to you today – every day.  In fact, that is the reason why I decided to focus on Elder Law and Estate Planning in the first place.  I know what it feels like to have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. I know what it feels like to spend every waking moment of your day worried, your thoughts preoccupied with your loved one’s mental and physical status. I know what it feels like to work a full day and then run home to your loved one to provide the supervision and care they need just to keep them out of a nursing home. I know what it feels like to place your loved one in a nursing facility and to worry whether or not they are properly being cared for. I know what it’s like to feel as if you are losing your mind, your patience and your very best friend all at once.

Know that my law firm is here for you and your family, to provide you with an endless supply of support, patience and advice if and when you find yourself in a similar situation as the one I have described above. 

In memory of my loving grandmother, Virginia Ortega.


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.