• Health Care Directive & Power of Attorney

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Feb 5, 2015 | 11:01 am

    What is a Health Care Directive?
    A Health Care Directive or Living Will is a document that allows youto communicate your wishes regarding medical treatment if you cannotmake those wishes known because of illness or injury.  It also typicallydesignates a person to make health care decisions for you if you areunable to communicate or do not have the mental capacity to make adecision.  This ensures your wishes will be followed, creates certaintyfor your family, and minimizes conflict.
    What is a Power of Attorney?
    A Power of Attorney is a document that allows another person to actfor you in financial matters.  A durable Power of Attorney allows aperson to act for you if you become incapacitated.  A durable Power ofAttorney is an important estate planning tool because it avoids theappointment of a conservator to manage your financial affairs.

  • What is a Trust?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 29, 2015 | 11:00 am

    Like a Will, a Trust in the estate planning context, includes provisionsto distribute assets upon death, specifies who will be responsible todistributing the assets, designates a guardian for minor children andaddresses estate taxes.  Unlike a Will, a Trust is effective immediatelyrather than upon death as is true with a Will, which allows forincapacity planning.  The other advantage of a Trust is that unlike aWill, probate can be avoided if all property is transferred into theTrust prior to death.  The disadvantage of Trust is that it is moreexpensive than a Will initially because of the requirement oftransferring all property into the trust, but probate costs will beavoided.

  • What is a Will?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 22, 2015 | 10:59 am

    A Will is a document in which a person specifies who is receive his orher property upon death, designates the person who will be responsiblefor the probating the estate, designates a guardian for minor childrenand addresses estate taxes.  One common misconception is that having aWill avoids probate.  Probate is the legal process for  of transferringthe assets of one who has passed away (“decedent”) that were owned asthe decedent’s separate property and do not transfer to others throughtitling or contractual designations (i.e., a life insurance policy) . Having a Will does not avoid probate and is essentially an instructionto the probate court.  However, having a Will does make the probateprocess less complicated and likely less costly.

  • What is Estate Planning?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 15, 2015 | 10:58 am

    Estate planning refers to the process of planning for the transfer ofyour property upon your death, and often, your potential mentalincapacity or diminished cognitive abilities.  The goals of estateplanning include directing disposition of your property at death,minimizing taxes and costs, simplifying the administration of yourestate, and creating certainty for your loved ones.  Estate planningalso helps avoid conflict between your heirs.  The major estate planningtools include Wills, Trusts, Health Care Directives and Power ofAttorney.

    If you do not have an estate plan, Minnesota Law will dictate whathappens upon your death or incapacity.  This may not be what you wantand creates uncertainty for your family, increases the likelihood ofconflict and leads to increased costs for your loved ones.

  • Domestic Abuse & Restraining Orders

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Jan 8, 2015 | 10:48 am

    Domestic abuse is violence or threats of violence against another individual. Certain acts,including threatening physical contact and threats of physical harm canbe a reason to get a Restraining Order or an Order for Protection. This prevents contact between the people involved and removes the person committing abuse from the home.

    Having a Restraining Order against you can remove you from your home,prevent you from seeing your children, and, in some cases, result inloss of a job. It will also prevent you from possessing a firearm.

    Whether you are seeking the Restraining Order or someone is seekingto get the Restraining Order against you, it is important to get legaladvice right away.

  • Holidays and Family Conflict:Family Law's Intersection with Holidays.

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Dec 28, 2014 | 15:05 pm

    The holidays always seem to bring out family conflict and visitation disputes.  The combination of in laws, alcohol, and travel can be tough in the best of circumstances, and a recipe for trouble when families are stressed.  Domestic abuse complaints, assault charges, and disputes over who gets the kids on what holidays always increase this time of year.  
    How to avoid the holidays going south? Be flexible on parenting time arrangements, a couple hours on Christmas Day are not worth a legal wrangle. If you will be around difficult in-laws, go easy on the booze.  If you get in a tricky situation, get legal help before it gets trickier.

  • LGBT/Nontraditional Relationships

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Dec 18, 2014 | 10:53 am

    The Ed Shaw Law Office provides respectful and compassionate legal services to same sex and non-traditional families. It is extremely important that non-traditional families have legallysound medical directives and wills established, as the law does notprovide automatic recognition of same sex partners.

    Our services include custody, adoption, and other family law matters, as well as wills, directives and estate planning services.

    LGBT couples and others in nontraditional relationships have legaloptions to protect their custody rights to minor children and to protecttheir property. Since LGBT couples are not always treated fairly by the law, it is especially important to seek available legal protection.

    Our office would be happy to discuss your legal options with you. Wesupport the rights of LGBT couples to be treated fairly andrespectfully.

  • What is Child Protection?

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Dec 11, 2014 | 10:51 am

    Parents can be reported to Social Services for behavior that is abusive or neglectful towards their children.
    If Social Services determines that abuse or neglect occurred, SocialServices will file a legal document called a Child In Need of ProtectionPetition (“CHIPS Petition).  This document asks the court to interveneto prevent further abuse or neglect of the child and contains theinitial allegations that are being made against you.

    If you have a CHIPS Petition filed against you, it is important tohave legal representation because it can have serious consequencesincluding, in some circumstances, loss of your job and loss of rights toyour child.

    It is important to speak with someone about your rights immediatelyas things often happen fast in child protection and you do not want tobe too late.
    Call 218-825-7030 today for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

    Were you children just removed from your care?  Call after hours to 218-251-3217 and one of our attorneys will be able to provide you with help now! 

  • Changing Child Support, Spousal Support, Custody and/or Visitation

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Dec 4, 2014 | 10:50 am

    Can child support be changed? Can spousal support be changed?
    Childsupport can be changed based on a significant increase or decrease inthe income of either parent or because of a change in the livingsituation of the child. Spousal support can be changed based on asignificant increase or decrease in the income of either party. If yourincome decreases and you need a reduction in your support obligation, itis critical that you request a change right away. The court will onlychange your support obligation as to future payments. We can help youget your child support payments reduced. We can also help you if theother parent is trying to reduce child support or should be paying morechild support.

    Can custody be changed?
    Custody can be changed,but the person asking for it must show that there has been a significantchange in the living situation of the child and one or both of theparents. A change of custody may also be ordered if the child is introuble medically or socially or is having trouble at school because ofhis or her living situation. The court may also consider major issues ofthe parent with physical custody, such as drug and alcohol abuse indeciding whether to change custody. For a court to order a change ofcustody, the court must find that the benefit of the change to the childwill outweigh the disruption of moving.

    Can visitation/parenting time be changed?
    Visitation/ParentingTime can be changed and this is easier to change than custody. Aschildren grow older, their schedules change, which can be a basis forchanging visitation/parenting time.

  • Nearing the Holidays - DWI and DUI Awareness

    Ed Shaw Law Blog Nov 25, 2014 | 10:56 am

    If you were, there are many questions you have:  
    • What is going to happen to my license?  
    • I am going to be able to drive again?  
    • Am I going to go to jail?  
    • How much is this going to cost me?  
    • What are my chances of getting a reduced sentence?
    • What are my next steps?  
    Our attorneys can help you navigate the waters of your DWI charge andhelp you get back to living your life. There will be some challengesahead, but with the proper representation and guidance from one of ourattorneys you can make it through this trying time with dignity andrespect.

    I was charged with a DUI – what should I do?
    DUI, driving under the influence, is one of the most common criminalcharges, amounting to more than 40,000 cases per year in Minnesotaalone. Many people who have not had experience with the criminal courtsystem, are stopped and arrested for DUI. This system is often scary andconfusing – hiring a qualified attorney to help you through thisprocess is very important.

    What are my chances of getting a reduced sentence?
    This is a hard question to answer without knowing what the police andprosecutor plan to use as evidence against you. Having an attorney willgreatly increase your chances of either finding an issue to get yourcase dismissed or negotiating a reduces or better plea deal for you.

    An attorney that promises you that they can get you out of thischarge is not being honest with you. There are no guarantees incriminal court, and if an attorney tells you that prior to getting andreviewing all of the evidence obtained by the police they are not beingtruthful.
    However, there have been recent legal developments challengingMinnesota DUI laws and giving drivers charged with DUI new options. Askthe attorney about what these developments mean to your case.

    What will my punishment be?
    This depends on the level of offense with which you were charged.
    For misdemeanor level offenses, the maximum jail time that can be imposed is 90 days and the maximum fine is $1,000.

    For gross misdemeanor charges, the maximum jail time that can beimposed is up to 1 year and the maximum fine is $3,000.  But in DWIcases your actual sentence will vary depending on which factor got youcharged with a gross misdemeanor.

    For felony charges, the maximum jail time is seven years and the maximum fine is $14,000.
    What about my driver’s license?
    After being charged with DWI, you are given a Notice of Revocationfor your driver’s license. How long your license will be revokeddepends on your circumstances.  What is important to remember is that anattorney can file a civil lawsuit against the Commissioner of PublicSafety and try to get your license reinstated in full.

    Per Minnesota Statute,you only have 30 days from the date of Notice of Revocation to filethis lawsuit, so time is of the essence.  You need to consult with anattorney immediately after being charged with DWI or you will losecertain rights.