What is a legal opinion?

Legal opinion is a tool that allows parties to a transaction obtain a qualified third-party opinion regarding a subject, object or other issues regarding a specific transaction. Thus, it is a document prepared by a competent lawyer on any specific question or problem.

Before entering into any commercial transaction, the parties to such a transaction must carefully consider the nature and volume of the transaction, as well as legal issues related to it.

Why do you need a legal opinion on inheritance?

Despite the fact, the law often explicitly establishes the procedure for the transfer of property from the deceased to his heirs, very often testators want to ascertain if the distribution strategy of their property is legitimate.

Moreover, legal opinion on inheritance will help avoid the tax burden some jurisdiction imposes upon receiving the inheritance. For example, the California inheritance tax, also known as the "inheritance tax" or the "death tax" can be a significant part of the inherited share.

Also, a lawyer can prepare his legal opinion under a will - a lawyer examines a will and expresses his legal opinion on whether such a testament violates the provision of current legislation and what is the risk of successfully challenging the provisions of the testament.

However, with proper planning of the inheritance process and preparation of a competent legal opinion on the inheritance of property, taxes and fees from the transferred property can be minimized.

What should be considered when drawing up Legal Opinion on inheritance issues?

A legal opinion must be prepared by an expert with experience in a certain area of law or jurisprudence and must not be provided by the law of such a foreign state with which the lawyer is not familiar.

Qualitative legal opinion on hereditary issues is distinguished by rigorous language, clarity of the circumstances provided, validity in accordance with current legislation, and presence of transparent and understandable conclusions.

It is important to note that if the customer's activity being investigated is considered illegal, then the conclusion cannot be positive. It should be noted that no self-respecting law firm “will risk its name and give an opinion on the legality of an activity, if the activity being investigated is illegal.

It is also important to bear in mind that when drawing up a legal opinion on any issue, lawyers are responsible for their opinion, as they conduct legal and factual research, analysis and verification.

It is for this reason that providing a legal opinion on inheritance issues can be an expensive process.

Form of drawing up a legal opinion on inheritance issues

The law does not establish any specific form that a lawyer must adhere to when drawing up a legal opinion. Legal Opinion, however, has a certain form developed over the centuries, that involves drawing up legal opinions by lawyers from many countries around the globe.

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Usually, the structure of a legal opinion on the acquisition of a property (buying a house, apartment) is as follows:

1. Information about the customer, information about the person to whom the opinion is addressed, information about the compiler, information about the task that is delivered to the compiler. In some cases, it is also assumed that the legal opinion will be used by persons other than those specified. As an example, a legal opinion addressed to the underwriter regarding the legality of the proposed issue of shares or bonds, upon which the issuer's transfer agent (transfer agent) or issuer’s bank must also rely.

2. General presentation of the documents under study, other factual or legal issues that were considered by the compiler in the presentation of Legal Opinion, as well as information on the various admitted reservations. Such reservations may vary depending on the nature of the request. For example, there is an opportunity to make a statement about the advisability of using a foreign law, in the event that the obligation must be fulfilled outside the country. This is especially true in cases where issues of more than one country are being raised, which requires the involvement of relevant lawyers, attorneys or foreign partners.

3. The legal opinion of a lawyer, including the study of facts, interpretation of the facts on the subject of their legality or potential risks. The compiler of Legal Opinion should clearly and in details examine a sufficient number of facts confirming each of the conclusions set forth in the legal opinion.

4. The conclusion of compiler based on the study. In most cases, the findings of Legal Opinion can be backed up by copies of the documents examined, with which the legal compiler issued an opinion.

5. The date and signature of the author, who issued the legal opinion. Usually, legal opinions are signed on behalf of the company with the specifications of the person who made the report. It should be noted that even such a seemingly insignificant moment as the date of the approval of the legal opinion is extremely important, since the legal opinion must show the status of legal norms and the practice of their application at the time of preparing the opinion. Legislation including corporate, banking and tax is subject to change, and with this, conclusion set forth in the legal opinion may change.

It is necessary to take into account that a legal opinion should not be considered as a substitute for legal support, and the client should understand that having received a legal opinion, it does not mean a “guide to action” or a deal on its own.

Lawyers of Law and Trust provide services for the development of a legal position on issues raised by you and further development of legal opinion.

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Experience and qualifications. The experience of the L&T International team is more than 15 years. It gives the opportunity for working with cases in many business areas like finance, IT, agriculture, trade and foreign economic activity. Thanks to this experience, our specialists always offer the best selection of services.
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