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Glossary of Legal Terms Index


Glossary of Legal terms – L

Laches: Defence raised when the plaintiff has delayed bringing a law suit unreasonably.

Landlord: The owner of property or real estate which is leased or rented by another party.

Lapse: The failure of a gift of property under a will, . A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. A lapsed gift becomes part of the residuary estate.

Larceny: The crime of stealing or theft.

Lease: A formal agreement between the landlord and tenant regarding the renting of real estate or property.

Legacy: Something which is left to someone in a will but which is not real estate.

Legal Custody: The right and obligation to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, including medical care and schooling. Many states typically have both parents share legal custody of a child.

Legislation: Laws made by a legislative body, the act of passing a law/s

Legitimise: To make lawful.

Lewd: Conduct which is considered offensive or indecent.

Liability: Responsibility or duty

Libel: An untruthful statement about a person which is published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Because libel is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. Libel is a form of defamation , as is slander (an untruthful statement that is spoken, but not published in writing or broadcast through the media).

Lien: A legal claim against property to ensure payment of a debt, allowing the property to be take and sold by the creditor to pay the debt.

Life Estate: The right to use real estate for the lifetime of an individual who is not necessarily the person who willoccupy the land.

Liquidate: To settle and pay a debt, to convert into cash.

Liquidated damages: Specified agreed payment to be made should a person break a contract and the other person agrees to accept.

Litigate: To engage in a lawsuit or to sue.

Living Will: A legal document in which you state your wishes about certain kinds of medical treatments and life-prolonging procedures. The document takes effect if you can’t communicate your own health care decisions. A living will may also be called a health care directive, advance directive, declaration or directive to physicians.

Loan consoliation: To combine multiple loans into a single loan.

Lump Sum Maintenance: A one off payment made instead of periodical payments usen in the event of a breakdown of marriage.

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