Clinton Township, Michigan Attorney specializing in Estate Planning
The Law Office of Charles Regan Shaw P.L.C. specializes in complete estate planning services, including wills, trusts, power of attorney, and acting as patient advocate. Proper estate planning minimizes potential taxes and fees, and helps set up legally effective arrangements to have distribution objectives met and make sure all concerns are addressed. More importantly, it brings peace of mind, knowing that loved ones will be taken care of.
We also help with residential real estate transactions, small business law, criminal offenses, personal injury, and family law. We’re accredited with the Department of Veterans Affairs, allowing us to assist in the preparation of veteran benefits.
We are committed to providing the highest level of professional and cost effective legal services for our clients. If you or your family are in need of legal assistance, let us help.
Charles Regan Shaw
Charles Regan Shaw is a licensed attorney in the State of Michigan. He is a graduate of The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where he earned his Jursis Doctor degree, and was recognized in “Who’s Who Among American Law Students”. He is a member of the Estate Planning, Probate, and Real Estate sections of the State Bar of Michigan, Macomb County Bar Association; a Trustee of the Macomb County Bar Foundation; and a member of the Macomb Probate Bar Association.
Mr. Shaw’s Community affiliations include serving as: Chairman of the Board, Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board; Director, Macomb Township Community Foundation; member, Selfrige Air National Guard Base Community Council; member, Macomb Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to establishing his law office, Mr. Shaw was a Regional Manager with Sterling Bank & Trust, and an Investment Consultant.
Mr. Shaw writes a Legal Business column which appears monthly in the business section of The Macomb Daily News.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is a process to consider alternatives for, to think through, and to set up legally effective arrangements that would meet your specific wishes if something happens to you or those you care about. Good estate planning is more than just a simple Will. Estate planning also typically minimizes potential taxes and fees, and sets up contingency planning to make sure your wishes regarding health care treatment are followed. On the financial side, a good estate plan coordinates what would happen with your home, your investments, your business, your life insurance, your employee benefits (such as a 401K plan), and other property in the event you became disabled or if you die. On the personal side, a good estate plan includes directions to carry out your wishes regarding health care matters, so that if you ever are unable to give the directions yourself, someone you select would do that for you, and know when you would want them to authorize heroic measures and when you would prefer they pull the plug.
Does it make sense to use an attorney? Is it expensive?
Only an attorney who regularly practices in the fields of wills, trusts, probate and estate planning is able to provide you with really sound legal advice as you put your estate plan into place. Attorneys are subject to regulation by state bar organizations, many of which have continuing education requirements and mandatory liability insurance in case the lawyer makes a mistake. When you speak with an attorney, you can get answers to your questions –including how much it would cost. Often the expense incurred in retaining an attorney to prepare and help you put an estate plan into place is worth hundreds of times what you and your family would pay with no planning or poor planning. It would also avoid the financial and emotional nightmares that can occur with a poorly drafted (or improper) plan.
When should I start my estate plan?
The only time that you can prepare and implement an estate plan is while you are alive and have legal capacity to enter into a contract. If you are unable to manage your own affairs or suffer from some other disability which affects your legal capacity, your estate plan may be effectively challenged by those who assert that you lacked capacity at the time the documents were created, that you were subjected to fraud, coercion or undue influence during the creation and implementation of your plan.
What sorts of instructions are made as part of an estate plan?
An estate plan consists of one or more documents that set forth instructions. Some documents are used to control health care decisions, others control your property in the event of your incapacity, and still other documents will control the distribution of your property in the event of your death.
Should I have an estate plan?
You should have an estate plan if:
- You are the parent of minor children.
- You have property that you care about.
- You care about your health care treatment.
Business Law is the area of law that involves the creation and needs of a “business”. A business can be any activity or enterprise entered into for profit, usually a company, a corporation, partnership, or any such formal organization.
corporation to limited liability company (LLC) to a simple sole proprietorship.A corporation exists legally as a separate entity from its owners. It has many of the same rights as individual people, and can obtain loans, sue and be sued, own things, and enter contracts. An important purpose behind establishing a corporation is to create ‘limited liability’, which means that a company’s owners or shareholders are not personally responsible for the debts or legal issues of the corporation.
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a business that allows for both the limited liability protections of a corporation and the simplicity of a sole proprietorship. They do not require the existence of a board of directors, as a corporation does, and the owners are taxed based on their personal profits or losses, rather than that of the corporation itself.
A sole proprietorship is the simplest way to manage a business if you are the sole owner of your business. It requires no paperwork to start, unless you want to operate your business without using your personal name. In these cases, all that is required is a DBA (“doing Business As” registration) or business license. One incentive of a sole proprietorship is that you are not required to file a separate tax return for you and for your business. The drawback, however, is that they do not have the personal liability protection that corporations and LLCs provide.
Some of the areas in which we can help your business include:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Banking and Credit Laws
- Contract Enforcement
- Labor Laws
- Liability and Property Issues
- Licenses and Registrations
- Securities Laws
- Tax Laws
We advise and service small and large businesses throughout Michigan. If your business is in need of legal assistance, please take advantage of our extensive knowledge of Michigan business law.
The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that if you’ve been accused of a crime, you have the right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury, to know who your accusers are, and to know the charges and evidence being brought against you.
You also have the right to legal counsel to assist in your defense. If you’ve been arrested for a crime, we can provide you with guidance and quality legal representation.
Some of the crimes we can defend you against include:
- OUI: Operating Under the Influence, a term used to indicate driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance, usually alcohol.
- OWI: Operating While Intoxicated, another term used to indicate driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance, used in certain states such as Michigan.
- Assault: this is defined not only as an attempt to physically injure a person, but any action to threaten a person if carrying out the threat would cause the person being threatened to reasonably fear for their safety.
- Domestic Violence: Assault directed at a person to whom one has a familial or living relationship with.
- Retail Fraud: Unlawfully taking property from a store open to the public; shoplifting. If the property is taken from a home or a person, it’s theft. If the person who steals from the retail establishment is an employee, it’s embezzlement. Depending on the value of the property stolen, retail fraud can either be a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Drug Possession: Knowingly being in possession of a controlled substance. Knowledge is important for possession of controlled substances to be illegal; if a person can prove that they did not know they were in possession of the substance, or did not know it was a controlled substance, they may not be charged, though this can be difficult to prove.
- Misdemeanors: These are less serious crimes, such as petty theft or traffic violations, that are punishable by up to a year in prison.
- Felonies: These are more serious crimes such as armed robbery, murder or arson, that can result in heavy fines and at least one year or more of imprisonment if convicted.
Being charged with a crime is a difficult and frightening experience. Let us help you work through this ordeal and reach the best possible outcome.
Residential and commercial real estate transactions can become complicated and difficult, if you’re not familiar with the ramifications of real estate rules and laws. Some of the real estate issues we can assist with are:
Short Sales: A short sale is the process of selling a property at a value lower than what is left on a mortgage in order to avoid a foreclosure. This can result in less damage to your credit and less of a chance of being pursued by debt collectors. The downside to a short sale, is that some lenders may not want to participate in it. We can review your situation and help determine whether or not a short sale is right for you.
Deed in Lieu Bank Negotiations: A deed in lieu is another way to avoid foreclosure with a bank. It involves transferring the title of the property to the bank to settle the mortgage. Unlike a short sale, the property owner does not have to sell the property themselves in this scenario; the property is simply given directly to the bank. We can assist in negotiating with the bank to make this happen.
Residential Sales/Purchases: Buying and selling a home or personal property is often the largest financial transaction an individual will make. Legal issues surrounding title transfers and purchasing contracts can become very involved. We can help sort it all out.
Landlord and Tenant Matters: Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, you have certain rights and responsibilities you should be aware of. If you feel as though these rights have been violated, or responsibilities have been neglected, we are here to advise you on next steps and determine the best course of action for you.
Leases: A lease agreement is a legal contract, and you should understand exactly what is in the lease so you can be protected against another party who may knowingly or unknowingly infringe upon this contract.
Commercial Purchases/Leases: Commercial real estate is property that’s used for business, unlike residential real estate, which is primarily for providing living space. Commercial real estate is typically leased, rather than sold to, a business that will use it for generating income.
Although real estate law can quickly become confusing and overwhelming, we are here to help make your transactions painless, and help you watch out for costly mistakes.
Without proper advice and representation, dealing with family law matters can be overwhelming. Divorce, for example, can be one of the most traumatic and stressful events you will encounter in your life. You’re most likely confused, and don’t know who to turn to.
Adoption, on the other hand, can be exciting, but stressful. You’re hopeful and optimistic about a new addition to your family, but you need help smoothing the way in the adoption process. The laws governing the process of adoption are complicated and can be confusing.
We work to help simplify these rules and laws for you, to make the process more manageable and less stressful. Below are just some of the areas that we can help with.
- Michigan No-Fault Divorce: This means that to file for divorce in Michigan, a spouse only has to claim that there is some problem in the marriage that cannot be resolved. It doesn’t matter which partner is ‘at fault’ in order for the divorce to be granted. However, No-Fault Divorce does not prevent a judge from using the fault of either party as a factor when determining property division and alimony payment.
- Child Custody Negotiations: Michigan’s joint custody law assumes that it’s generally in the best interest of children to keep a relationship with both parents. However, the court is not required to consider joint custody unless one or both of the parents wish it. If this is the case, there are a number of factors a judge will consider when deciding on joint custody. We can help navigate and explain these factors with you.
- Child Support Payment: In Michigan, both parents need to support a child, either through custody or child support payments. If you’re going through divorce, you may be ordered to pay child support, depending upon the situation. Child support may be required even if you don’t have primary custody or the parent who has primary custody has sufficient financial means to support the child.
- Modifications: If you’re unhappy with some aspect of a custody or child support arrangement, or if your circumstances have changed, and you wish to modify the arrangement with the court, we can help negotiate updated terms.
- Adoption Procedures: The legalities of adoption in Michigan are very complex. There are fees and costs that may vary among different adoption agencies, as well as several rules and laws surrounding the process. We can help ease the way to making the joyful expansion of your family happen.
Whatever your family situation may be, we can help.
If you’ve been injured, because of someone’s negligence, you deserve compensation for their carelessness.
Personal injury law, or tort law, occurs when a civil court proceeding is initiated by an injured person who has been hurt due to the accidental or intentional actions of another party. Personal injury suits typically have one of two outcomes:
A settlement is when both sides come to an agreement over compensation for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering. If such an agreement is reached, a lawsuit is avoided.
If a settlement cannot be reached, then a formal lawsuit in a civil court of law may take place. The injured party, known as the plaintiff, issues a complaint against an individual, business or government entity, known as the defendant.
There is a Statute of Limitations that determines how much time can pass between a plaintiff being injured or discovering the injury, and being able to file a civil lawsuit. In Michigan, that time period is three years for personal injuries and one year for defamation (libel and slander).
Here are just a few of the examples of personal injury cases for which we can represent you:
- Slip and Fall: If you’re injured on the property of an individual or business, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit against the owner of that property. It’s often difficult to prove negligence in these cases. If a defendant can prove the hazard that caused the injury was so open and obvious that a reasonable person could have avoided it, the plaintiff may be barred from suing for damages. Let us help you sort out the complexities of the law.
- Auto Injury: An auto accident is one of the more common and most traumatic injuries that can happen to anyone. You have a lot to concern yourself with on the road to recovery. If you’re injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, leave it to us to help with possible compensation for your lost health, wages, pain and suffering.
- Medical Malpractice: Doctors may seem like miracle workers, but they are human and make mistakes. If those mistakes rise to the level of malpractice and caused you harm or suffering, you may be eligible for compensation.
- Dog Bite: If a dog commits an unprovoked attack on you in public, or in a private area where you have permission to be, the owner can be held responsible and be liable for your injury.
When you are injured due to negligence or intentional harm, your recovery process will have many facets, one of which will be to make sure you are financially compensated for the losses you incur while recovering. We can help you navigate these complicated laws and get you the compensation you are entitled to.
You worked hard for your benefits, and you deserve the ones that are coming to you.
Understanding the steps to take to properly apply for the benefits you deserve can be a very daunting task. Benefit laws are extremely complex and wide-reaching, and if you are not well versed in these laws, you could be left cutting through the red tape when the benefits process is blocked or stalled.
If you’re being denied benefits that rightfully belong to you, or you just don’t know how to start applying for benefits, we can help you sort things out and get you what you’re entitled to.
- VA Benefits: If you are now serving our country in any branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserve, or have served and are now retired, you may be eligible for VA benefits. There are many possible benefits available to you as a veteran, including educational benefits to help pay for school or training, a Certificate of Eligibility for a home loan, life insurance, and disability benefits. You deserve full compensation for your service.
- Social Security: Typically known as retirement benefits, Social Security also provides benefits to survivors, and income to people who become disabled. If you worked for years and paid your taxes, you paid into Social Security.
- Workers Compensation: This is a benefit to provide compensation to workers who become disabled in a workplace injury. The state of Michigan does not typically pay these benefits; they are provided by most employers through private insurance the company pays. If you’re hurt in the workplace, report it to your employer right away. You should receive benefits the day you’re injured. If your employer doesn’t put in a claim for you, filing form WC-117 may be necessary. If your claim is denied or disputed for some reason, a form WC-104A may need to be filed. We can help determine what form to file and assist in filing it, as well as answer any questions you may have about what you are entitled to.
You deserve your benefits, and we can help you get them.
The Law Office of Charles Regan Shaw PLC is located at:
16950 19 Mile Rd. Suite 2
Clinton Township, Michigan 48038
Email: [email protected]
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