Valerie Merritt is a graduate of Occidental College and U.C.L.A. Law School. She is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and one of the 1% of lawyers in the U.S. to be included in "The Best Lawyers in America." She has also been designated as a "Super Lawyer" by Los Angeles magazine. She lectures for bar and estate planning groups and has written a number of articles for estate planning journals. Valerie is also the co author of prior editions of the Probate Workflow Manual published by California Continuing Education of the Bar, a standard reference work in most offices.

She has served on the Executive Committee of the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association from 1981 to 1987 and was its Chair during 1985 1986. She has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the State Bar of California from 1987 to 1996, and was its Chair during 1992 1993. Valerie was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Delegation to the State Bar Conference of Delegates until 2011 and won the 2006 Spirit Award.

Married to another lawyer (now retired), Valerie has two grown children and six grandchildren. For relaxation, Val reads mysteries, putters in the garden and travels.