Valerie Zaloom Buccino, Esq.
Admitted to both the New York and New Jersey Bars, Valerie Zaloom Buccino has been serving New York and New Jersey communities for almost 30 years, focusing on the areas of Estate Planning, Special Needs Planning, and Guardianship Proceedings. Valerie graduated from St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude in 1990. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from St. John’s University, School of Law, in 1993.
Early on in her legal career, Valerie served the New York State Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, as a Senior Attorney for the Mental Hygiene Legal Service. She fought to protect the rights of those with developmental disabilities and of those who suffer from mental illness. She found her calling as an advocate for individuals whose capacity was being challenged and whose rights were in need of safeguarding. As a Senior MHLS attorney, Valerie was appointed by the Court as Counsel representing the rights of those alleged to be incapacitated as well as Court Evaluator in Guardianship Proceedings.
Very often, a Guardianship Proceeding can be avoided by properly appointing in advance someone you trust to make personal, medical, and financial decisions for you, should you become unable to do so in the future. It was in representing those who have become incapacitated and never put directives in place, that she learned the great importance of Estate Planning and the emotional and financial cost of failing to do so. When Valerie resigned from her position with the State of New York and opening her own firm, she knew that making sure her clients and their families were protected through proper forward-thinking Estate Planning, needed to be the focus of her practice.
Valerie is a fiduciary of the New York State Supreme Court, Office of Court Administration. She continues to serve the Court as appointed Counsel to the Alleged Incapacitated Person, Court Evaluator and Guardian in Guardianship Proceedings. She recently received the honor of being appointed by the Chief Judge of the New Jersey State Supreme Court for her second term serving as an attorney member of the District Ethics Committee District VC Essex County – West Essex. She is a licensed Continuing Real Estate Education Instructor and teaches Trusts and Estates to Real Estate brokers and agents.
Valerie has firsthand experience with the challenges of parenting a child who has learning differences and the difficulties that families face in getting those needs met in an educational setting. This sparked an interest in learning more about education law and she began working with a prominent education law firm in NYC to reach families in need of special needs planning and in pursuing guardianship so that they can continue to care for their children once they reach the age of majority.
Valerie is a mother of three children, two of whom have learning differences. She is a Staten Island native, who is now an active member of her North Caldwell, NJ community. She was elected to the North Caldwell Board of Education for two terms where she served as Vice President. She volunteered as a Girl Scout leader, she taught religious education at Notre Dame Church and volunteered to coach her town’s soccer, baseball, and softball teams. She served for two years as the Moot Court coach at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston. She is an animal rescue and foster volunteer for the Cause 4 Paws not-for-profit Rescue Group. She and her family have rescued, fostered, and found homes for over 35 kittens.
When not practicing law, Valerie loves to cook, read, hike, and spend time with her family.