Issue 02
August 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.?

Interview with Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. on the web…

LI Families, a website dedicated to providing residents of Long Island with answers to commonly asked questions and a network of local businesses and resources to answer them, recently featured the law firm of Valerie A. Shivers, P.C. on their site. The interview highlighted our firm’s focus and mission statement,  helped answer a few common legal questions for families of Long Island, and really enabled us to provide insight regarding how we set ourselves apart to provide best in class service to our clients.

Check it out!

For the full interview, please go to:

 Elder Law Spotlight


Health Reform Law’s Pre-Existing Condition Plan Kicks In

It is likely that someone you know is currently living without health insurance. It’s no secret that health care is costly, however, many individuals have been unable to obtain health coverage at any price because of a pre-existing health condition. Fortunately, as part of the roll-out of the new health reform law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the establishment of a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan that will offer coverage to these previously uninsurable individuals.

The new plan will provide a new health coverage option for Americans, who have been uninsured for at least six months, have been unable to get health coverage because of a health condition, and are a U.S. citizen or are residing in the United States legally.

The Plan is a transitional program until 2014, when insurers will be banned from discriminating against adults with pre-existing conditions, and individuals and small businesses will have access to more affordable private insurance choices through new competitive insurance exchanges.

The average monthly premium for participants in the new program will vary by state and will range within states from $140 to $900. The Plan will be open to applicants in 21 states starting July 1, 2010. All other states that are operating their own Plans will begin enrollment by the end of the summer, if not before.

For more information on how to apply for coverage please visit:

 Estate Planning & Administration Spotlight

You get what you pay for when using “do-it-yourself” legal forms…

Often times I am asked my opinion with regard to the use of inexpensive “do-it-yourself” online forms. In my opinion, when signing your name to legal documents you should seek legal advice from an expert. When meeting with a client who is looking to develop an estate plan there is no “cookie cutter” plan. Each client’s documents will vary based upon their individual objectives.

·         Many clients are interested in naming a guardian for their children;

·         Some clients are interested in disinheriting a child or family member from their estate;

·         Some clients are interested in avoiding estate tax at death;

·         Clients with disabled children are interested in protecting their inheritance from the government by utilizing a Supplemental Needs Trust.

More often than not, however, many clients seek my advice because they aren’t exactly sure what it is that they need. It’s alarming to think that these clients could easily be lured by the “free legal forms” to plan their estates and potentially risk thousands of dollars because of a missing sentence or two in a Last Will and Testament. There is no way for an online form to provide you with legal advice or to assess your estate plan, therefore it’s virtually impossible for a online legal form to provide an individual with a comprehensive estate plan.

Major online legal form provider sued… again.

In recent news, Legalzoom, an online legal form provider, was recently sued for the umpteenth time by an individual stating that “the online legal document preparation service uses unfair and deceptive business practices. It claims to “customize” its documents, but all it does is change the name and identifying information”.

Too often people utilize these online legal forms looking to save money only later to find that they must spend double the amount in an effort to rectify the mistakes made by the online legal documents.

To see the details of this lawsuit go to:

Real Estate Spotlight

First Time Homebuyer Credit Extended……for some…

It’s likely you have seen a headline stating something similar to this “Obama Signs Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension”. Based on that headline it would be easy to believe that the 8,000 first-time homebuyer credit was extended for all first time homebuyers, however, that is not the case.

In actuality the extension signed by President Obama was merely for the closing deadline, not the credit itself.

You must meet the required deadlines to be eligible to claim the credit.

  • You must have bought -- or entered into a binding contract to buy - a principal residence on or before April 30, 2010.
  • If you entered into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, you must close (go to settlement) on the home on or before Sept. 30, 2010 (recent legislation extended the June 30 deadline previously in effect). So unless you've already found your dream house, and entered into contract, some two months ago, you won't be receiving this government credit.
For more information see:,,id=225078,00.html


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.