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September 2019 NEWSLETTER
Your Will: What You Can and Can’t Do
A properly drawn and executed will (your “Last Will and Testament”) is the only way for you to ensure that your loved ones are properly looked after once you are gone. 

Perhaps most importantly, only by making your own will can you specify who is to inherit what from you. But is your “Freedom of Testation” limited in any way? Can you disinherit your spouse, or your children? Who chooses who will benefit from your pension and retirement funds?  

These are critical questions, and we discuss the answers to them with reference both to several important court decisions on the matter, and to general legal principles which you should know about.
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Property: Are Verbal Agreements Valid?
ArticleImage As movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn is said to have put it “A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on”. The problem with oral agreements is that they are open to misinterpretation, doubt, dispute and outright fraudulent denial. Rather record and sign everything even when (as is the case with most contracts in South Africa) verbal contracts are every bit as binding as written ones.

Sometimes however verbal contracts aren’t just a bad idea, they aren’t valid at all – for example an oral contract for the sale, exchange or donation of land, or of any “interest in land”, is invalid. We address the danger of overlooking that requirement in the context of a recent High Court dispute over a “right of way” agreement.
   
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What is Poor Work Performance? A Case of Missed Sales Targets
ArticleImage The deal between employer and employee boils down to this: “I agree to pay you in return for the work you do for me”, and an employee whose work performance is inadequate by definition breaches that deal. 

Does that give you as employer the right to dismiss your employee? If the dismissal ends up in court, who bears the onus of proving that the dismissal was fair or unfair? Do our employment laws give you any guidance on when dismissal will and won’t be regarded as fair?

We address those questions by discussing a recent Labour Court case in which a group of sales reps failed to meet their sales targets, and were fired for it.
   
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Home Builders – Your Contractor Must Register with the NHBRC
ArticleImage Whether you are a residential property developer, building your own house, or the builder/contractor employed to build it, understand how vital it is to comply with the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act and its requirements of registering with, and paying enrolment fees to, the NHBRC.

It’s important legislation, designed to “offer protection against incompetent builders and the construction of homes having structural defects”, and failure to comply with it comes with severe negative consequences.

We discuss two recent and important court cases on the subject of whether the Act applies to builders that are trusts, and to “buy-to-let” developers.
   
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Your Website of the Month: Video Guides to Starting Your Own Business
ArticleImage Many of us dream of starting up our own thriving businesses. But it’s an ambition that few actually attempt, let alone achieve, and no wonder – it’s scary going out on your own, and there are many challenges awaiting you on the road to success.

So where to start? The Internet has a wealth of useful resources for entrepreneurs (and would-be entrepreneurs). The general principles of entrepreneurship apply universally, so we take you to an American website offering an extensive library of easily-digestible video content – everything from “5 myths about starting your own business” to “Finding new business ideas in the everyday”…
   
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Disclaimer

The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.


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