Legal act and legal fact

The legal acts are volunteers who have made a deliberate intention to produce legal effects. The legal facts , on the other hand, refer to any event that has a legal consequence.

Legal actsLegal facts
DefinitionManifestation of will to create, modify, transfer and extinguish rights or obligations.Any event with legal effects.
  • Positive and negative
  • Layout and administration
  • Unilateral and bilateral
  • Onerous and free
  • Formal and non-formal
  • Main and accessory
  • Patrimonial and extra-patrimonial
  • Between alive and last will
  • Pure, simple and modal.
  • Natural legal fact
  • Human legal fact
  • Simple and complex legal fact
  • Positive and negative
  • Simultaneous and successive
  • Extinctive, constitutive and impeding

It is clear that human life to be in harmony and harmony needs a certain level of legality, that is, regulations and laws of all kinds. In the legal world there are a multitude of concepts, but without a doubt two of the most essential are the legal act and the legal fact.

The legal act is a manifestation of will to create, modify, transfer or extinguish a right or obligation, with a favorable result or not for the plaintiff. A legal fact , on the other hand, is any event with legal relevance because it produces legal effects, then its mere existence creates, extinguishes or modifies rights or obligations.

Legal act

The legal act is a conscious and voluntary act carried out by an individual (natural or legal person) whose purpose is to establish certain legal relationships. The result of the legal act is that a right or obligation is created, transferred, modified or extinguished.

Here, then, there is a clear manifestation of will that produces legal effects. Likewise, there are elements that make up the act: a subject , which can be a person or group of people involved; an object that is a fact or for which the act is performed; a cause as a determining end of the will to carry out the act; the manifestation of the will itself; and, finally, the form that cannot be postponed for the legal act to be carried out in a valid manner (signature before a notary).

Examples of legal acts

Positive and negative legal act

A positive legal act refers to the fact that a certain action must be carried out, that it implies an execution. For example, if you want to sell a personal property, there must be a willingness to do so.

On the other hand, a negative legal act expresses that it is not necessary to act, there is an abstention from action, at least in some sense. A good example is not being able to sell a property if there is any inhibition.

Legal act of disposition and administration

In the first case, there is no substantial modification of the patrimony: the act does not diminish it, but rather increases it or maintains it. Repairing a property or collecting a rent are examples. Instead, in the disposition there is a risk of decrease or it actually happens. Selling a good or leasing it expresses the latter.

Unilateral and bilateral legal act

If the legal act requires only the will of a subject, it is unilateral; if more than one is essential, it is called bilateral.

Free and onerous legal act

If the act in question requires the obligation of the two parties involved, it is an onerous act, as in any type of sale. It is a free act, on the other hand, if the obligations are reduced to one of the parties, as in a donation.

Formal and non-formal legal act

Formal acts are those that require a series of precautions, such as a purchase and sale of real estate where a title deed is required. On the other hand, the non-formal ones have legal effects without the need to present documents or carry out certain etiquette activities, such as the simple fact of buying a personal property.

Main and accessory legal acts

The main legal act is the one that depends on itself, as in the case of a simple sale and purchase. The accessory, on the other hand, as its name suggests, is subject to another legal situation. A good example of the latter is when an asset is recorded with a mortgage.

Patrimonial and extra-patrimonial legal act

Any legal act that has an economic meaning is patrimonial. Everything that has legal effects outside of that scope is extra-pecuniary, such as, for example, what pertains to life.

Legal act between the living and the last will

The legal acts between living are those in which the death of the person who constituted them does not depend to have legal effects. An example is contracts. On the other hand, the legal acts of last will refer to the fact that they fulfill their effects with the death of the disposer, as in the case of wills.

Pure, simple and modal legal act

The pure and simple legal acts are those that have the essential elements mentioned (subject, object, cause, manifestation of will and form); manners, add accidental elements such as deadlines, condition and position.

Legal fact

The legal fact is any event relevant to law and, therefore, produces legal effects. If you like, it is a broader concept than that of a legal act, since there is not necessarily a conscious or deliberate act here.

Any act of the human being not sought can be framed in the innumerable branches of law, such as civil or criminal matters. Also the phenomena of nature are framed in the various legal typologies. And of course: that there are legal consequences or effects means that they modify, create, transfer or extinguish rights and obligations.

Examples of legal facts

Natural legal fact

They are those made possible by nature and have legal effects. A natural disaster that destroys resources and lives carries a significant chain of legal realities such as fines, suspension of contracts, lawsuits, death certificates, etc.

Human legal fact

They are those carried by a person or by a group (legal entity) and have legal effects. For example, a traffic accident. If it is voluntary, it would technically be a legal act.

Simple and complex legal fact

This classification is based on what it takes to get done. It is simple when only one event is needed, such as a death or a birth; it is complex when more than one event is indispensable, as in possession of a corpus and an animus.

Positive and negative legal fact

This classification is based on an action or an omission. Positive is what refers to the former; negative to the second.

Simultaneous and successive legal fact

The simultaneous legal fact refers to what happens in the same period of time, such as a homicide. On the other hand, the successive one refers to the fact that the events happen or become in time. All attempts to unlawfully deprive someone of their liberty fall into the latter type.

Extinctive, constitutive and impeding legal scope

Legal facts can also be classified according to the consequences they have provided for by law. In extinction cases, a payment assumes an obligation is determined; in the constitutive a contract give birth to an obligation and rights; and the impeditivo hinders the birth of certain rights or obligations (a vice in the will nullifies the act).

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