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September 2021 NEWSLETTER
Estate Planning and Wills: A Checklist to Protect Your Family

We find ourselves in the midst of a deadly pandemic, yet incredibly stats suggest that up to 80% of South Africans have no “Last Will and Testament” in place.

We discuss firstly how and why leaving your loved ones a will as part of a full estate plan will protect them, in their hour of greatest need, from unnecessary uncertainty, worry and risk.

We move on to share a simple 15-point checklist which will help you leave a lasting legacy to your family, maximised and structured to look after them all when you are no longer around to do that yourself.

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Eviction Refused – Landowners, Unlawful Occupiers and the “Just and Equitable” Test
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Here’s yet another warning to landowners, property buyers and landlords to tread with extreme care when dealing with “unlawful occupiers”.

The case in question, decided recently by the SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal), resulted in the setting-aside of an eviction order against an elderly widow and her disabled son.

Although on the face of it the owner, who had bought the property at a liquidation auction, had complied with the strict provisions of PIE (the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act), his ownership rights were trumped by the High Court’s duty to be satisfied that every eviction is “just and equitable”.

   
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A Million Rand Warning: Act When Employees Reach Retirement Age
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Increasingly, employees who reach “retirement age” have no desire at all to give up working, so they agree with their employers to stay on.

That should be a win-win outcome but, as a recent Labour Appeal Court case shows, employers need to manage the process carefully and with due regard for the potential pitfalls. The long-serving employee in question, clearly a fan of Paul McCartney’s observation that “Retirement is for people who don’t like their jobs”, stayed on for four years after turning 65 (his agreed retirement age).

His subsequent acceptance of a voluntary retrenchment package and his successful claim for over R1m in compensation serves as a stark warning to employers not to treat the question of “continued employment after retirement” lightly.

   
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Don’t Risk Consequential “Loss of Profits” Damages: Check Your Contracts and Insurance!
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Running a business comes with many advantages, but also with risks. One of them is being sued for damages if you cause anyone else any form of loss.

Whilst you can mitigate such risks on both a practical and a legal level, and whilst your business insurance may well cover you against claims for loss caused by you, it is essential to understand that a damages claim against you could be for an uninsured “consequential” loss, such as perhaps a “loss of profits” claim. 

As shown in a recent High Court case, you could find yourself “up the creek without a paddle” on that one – liable for the damages, but with no insurance cover. 

   
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Your Website of the Month: Start a New Business Fast and Lean
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The COVID-19 pandemic has closed many doors, but it has also levelled many playing fields and opened up a slew of new business opportunities. If you are one of the many budding entrepreneurs out there looking to start up your own business (perhaps by choice, perhaps after a business closure), you may wonder where and how to go about it.

Bizly’s “Start a business: How to get going fast, the lean start-up way” here shares some ideas for “action planning using rapid, feedback loops to get the business off the ground quickly and with minimal risk.”  Answer 6 preliminary questions, complete a one-page business plan, and prepare for launch!

   







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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