Delaware Legal Documents

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What is a legal document?

According to the dictionary, a legal document is a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right. It is synonymous with a legal instrument, official document, instrument document, papers, written document or writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature).

What are some common legal documents?

articles of incorporation – a legal document that creates a corporation; it is filed with a state by the founders of a corporation and is governed by the laws of the state

derivative instrument, derivative – a financial instrument whose value is based on another security

negotiable instrument – an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money

passport – a document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person to travel abroad and re-enter the home country

ship’s papers – official papers which a ship is legally required to have; related to ownership, cargo, etc.

manifest – a customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane
debenture – a certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt
power of attorney – a legal instrument authorizing someone to act as the grantor’s agent
letters of administration – legal document naming someone to administer an estate when no executor has been named

letters testamentary – a legal document from a probate court or court officer informing you of your appointment as executor of a will and empowering you to discharge those responsibilities
work papers, work permit, working papers – a legal document giving information required for employment of certain people in certain countries

act, enactment – a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body

law – legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity; “there is a law against kidnapping”

bill, measure – a statute in draft before it becomes law; “they held a public hearing on the bill”

brief, legal brief – a document stating the facts and points of law of a client’s case testament, will – a legal document declaring a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die

living will – a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that he should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness; “after he discovered he had AIDS he drew up a living will”

deed, deed of conveyance, title – a legal document signed and sealed and delivered to effect a transfer of property and to show the legal right to possess it; “he signed the deed”; “he kept the title to his car in the glove compartment”

assignment – the instrument by which a claim or right or interest or property is transferred from one person to another

deed of trust, trust deed – a written instrument legally conveying property to a trustee often used to secure an obligation such as a mortgage or promissory note
conveyance – document effecting a property transfer

income tax return, return, tax return – document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer’s tax liability; “his gross income was enough that he had to file a tax return”

license, permit, licence – a legal document giving official permission to do something

letters patent, patent – an official document granting a right or privilege

judgement, legal opinion, opinion, judgment – the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision; “opinions are usually written by a single judge”

acquittance, release – a legal document evidencing the discharge of a debt or obligation judicial writ, writ – (law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer

authorisation, authorization, mandate – a document giving an official instruction or command

affidavit – written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath

written agreement – a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties
bill of indictment, indictment – a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense

impeachment – a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office

arraignment – a legal document calling someone to court to answer an indictment law, jurisprudence – the collection of rules imposed by authority; “civilization presupposes respect for the law”; “the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order”

What legal documents are relevant to Delaware?

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Over 50% of U.S. publicly traded corporations and 60% of the Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware; the state’s attractiveness as a corporate haven is largely because of its business-friendly corporation law. Franchise taxes on Delaware corporations supply about one-fifth of its state revenue. Although Delaware is ranked first tax haven in the world by Tax Justice Network, it is not listed on the OECD’s 2009 “Black List”, despite objections of Luxembourg’s and Switzerland’s authorities.

Delaware Legal Forms

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The Delaware Constitution establishes a number of courts:

The Delaware Supreme Court is the state’s highest court.
The Delaware Superior Court is the state’s trial court of general jurisdiction.
The Delaware Court of Chancery deals primarily in corporate disputes.
The Family Court handles domestic and custody matters.

The Delaware Court of Common Pleas has jurisdiction over a limited class of civil and criminal matters.
Minor non-constitutional courts include the Justice of the Peace Courts and Aldermen’s Courts.
Significantly, Delaware has one of the few remaining Courts of Chancery in the nation, which has jurisdiction over equity cases, the vast majority of which are corporate disputes, many relating to mergers and acquisitions. The Court of Chancery and the Supreme Court have developed a worldwide reputation for rendering concise opinions concerning corporate law which generally (but not always) grant broad discretion to corporate boards of directors and officers. In addition, the Delaware General Corporation Law, which forms the basis of the Courts’ opinions, is widely regarded as giving great flexibility to corporations to manage their affairs. For these reasons, Delaware is considered to have the most business-friendly legal system in the United States; therefore a great number of companies are incorporated in Delaware, including 60% of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Delaware was the last US state to use judicial corporal punishment, in 1952.

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