Five ways to get in legal shape for 2023

20 Dec 2022

New year, new you. Time to get in legal shape for a great 2023.

These are the top five ways that you can make the law work for you and your future.

Most of us think of the law as what punishes us when we do wrong but remember, the law is there to protect us too. If we choose to use it.

1. Getting a criminal record expunged

Trying to build a better future is hard enough without a constant reminder of the mistakes of the past tripping you up. If it has been more than ten years since the date of your conviction, and you fulfil the other criteria, then you can apply to have your record expunged. With a clear record, you have a wider selection of jobs open to you, including being able to travel in and out of the country. You will have the freedom to move and to choose the opportunities you take as you see fit!

2. Legitimise your living arrangements with a cohabitation agreement

When you get into a domestic partnership, sometimes it can be complicated to navigate who is responsible for what. A Cohabitation Agreement helps you to formalise each occupant’s responsibilities to the household by asking the questions we might not think of, or be too shy to ask, and providing a binding agreement that can be referred to, should any disputes arise. Asking for financial details can be tricky, but if you are sharing the responsibility of living with another person, you should know what you are getting into!

3. Time for a new house or car? Use a binding agreement to keep the sale sweet

We’ve all heard stories about how horribly wrong the buying and selling of your house or car can go. If you are planning on selling or buying a large purchase item like a car or a house, it is very important to have legal documentation of the process and what each party is expected to contribute. Sale agreements are a great way of keeping track of the process in a legal and binding way. Unofficially, it’s also a good way to scare off the scammers who will try to avoid putting anything in writing.

4. Get what you’re owed

Waiting for people to pay back the money they owe you is one of the most frustrating situations in the world. Very few of us are in a position to write off debt, so besides the fact that we need the money, we would also like confirmation that they will actually pay us. The feeling of not knowing if you will ever see that cash is sometimes worse than being without it while knowing that it will be paid next week or next month. An Acknowledgement of Debt is a legal agreement that gives you exactly that certainty and makes that arrangement legally binding. If they fail to pay, you can send a Letter of Demand and if necessary, take them to court.

5. New job? Get that contract checked out

There is something deeply satisfying about getting a new job. Especially if it’s been a long time coming and you’re equal parts relieved and excited. It can be quite easy to sign on the dotted line without reading the fine print carefully enough, and then setting yourself up for a nasty shock down the line. Instead of waiting until things get out of hand, have any contracts you are thinking of signing checked out by us first. The legal jargon that most of us do not understand can be used to hide loads of things that we would rather not agree to, so it’s worth having a legal eagle cast a sharp eye over the terms, conditions and all that fine print. This way, you can start your new job with the confidence and peace of mind that you have every opportunity to make the best of your employment.

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Article sourced from Legal&Tax.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Michael Visser

Michael Visser is a legal advisor at Legal&Tax. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) Law and LLB from The University of Pretoria. Read more about Michael Visser


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