January 18, 2021

5 Legal documents you need to have

While you might not think you need legal advice or assistant, there are five documents that everybody should have easy access to at all times.

Will

This document sets out your wishes should you die. Not having a valid will can cause untold hassle for your family. For more information, have a look at one of our older blog posts: https://robintwaddle.co.za/2020/10/05/explained-what-goes-into-a-will/.

A Living Will

A living will, sometimes called a healthcare directive or medical directive, sets out your wishes should you require medical attention and are unable to inform healthcare practitioners or your family if you are not able of doing so yourself (for example, if you are unconscious).

One of the main uses of a living will is to declare whether or not you would like to be kept alive by artificial means. 

It is important to let someone close to you know if you have a living will, and let them to know where to find it should the need arise. 

Title deeds

If you own property, you should have a copy of the title deeds, which constitute proof of ownership. The document includes all necessary information about the property, including your name, the name of previous owners, the purchase price you paid, conditions applicable to zoning, use and sale of the property, and all real rights that have been registered in respect of the property. 

If you have a bond, the issuing bank will keep the original title deed, but you should ask for a copy for your records.

Lease

If you rent a property or rent out a property, it is important to have a copy of the lease agreement so that you know your rights and responsibilities. 

Contracts

You should keep copies of any current contracts you have entered into on hand. This can include cellphone contracts, gym contracts, employment contracts (as an employee and employer), timeshare contracts, or any other agreement with another party. If a problem arises, you’ll immediately be able to refer to your rights and obligations and act accordingly without breeching the contract. 

For help with any of these documents, call 011 347 0300 or email info@lawmen.co.za. We are happy to conduct in-person or online consultations, depending on which you are most comfortable with.

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