Legal information versus legal advice: what's the difference?

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Question: What’s the difference between legal information and legal advice?

Legal information will tell you what the law is/says. Anyone with knowledge about the topic (and/or the ability to google effectively) can provide legal information. It could apply to anyone. Giving legal information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Legal advice will tell you how the law actually applies to/impacts a given situation. It requires both knowledge of the law and the ability to analyze and apply that law to a specific set of facts. It can only apply to a particular person/situation. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney and does create an attorney-client relationship.

Examples:

  • “If someone dies without a Will, what happens to their property?”

    • The answer is legal information.

  • “If my spouse dies without a Will, what happens to our property?”

    • The answer is legal advice.

  • “Do all Wills have to be witnessed and notarized?”

    • The answer is legal information.

  • “Can I be a witness for my mother’s Will?”

    • The answer is legal advice.

  • “What estate planning documents include protections for minor children?”

    • The answer is legal information.

  • “What estate planning documents should I have to protect my minor children?”

    • The answer is legal advice.

Wondering if the answer to the question that’s been bugging you would be legal information or legal advice? Let me know!