Author: Hammond Pole

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Business Afterlife: Managing Deceased Estates By Business Type

As a business owner, what do you want to leave behind in the event of your death? Will your company be in good hands, and what can you do to ensure that? The administration of deceased estates impacts various business structures and understanding these processes can help you take the necessary steps to secure your company's future. Deceased Estates and How They Apply to Companies Deceased Estates refer to all a person's belongings that are left after they pass away. These can include anything from their properties, assets, liabilities, and debts. These also apply to businesses or companies, otherwise referred to as...

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The Practical Application and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Sector

While the law may appear to deal in absolutes – precedent, legislative frameworks, right and wrong – it is nevertheless dynamic, deeply nuanced and in some cases open to (re)interpretation. Context and circumstances can alter the direction and outcome of a case that has been pored over by lawyers and advocates looking for the best result for their client.   And while artificial intelligence (AI) might be transforming some of the work of lawyers and advocates, it is unlikely that it will ever replace them, until such times as AI can negotiate, empathise, strategise or plead a case in court.   What is Artificial...

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Death and Taxes – A Guide For Navigating Deceased Estate Taxes

It’s a well-known adage that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. One crucial aspect of deceased estate administration is the taxes. With the death of an individual in South Africa, the executor has a duty to ensure that all tax returns of the deceased are up to date with the South African Revenue Services (SARS).   It’s imperative to know that there are different types of taxes that come into play in respect of a deceased estate:   Income tax for the deceased Individual (personal taxes) Value added tax (if applicable to the specific estate) Capital Gain tax Estate duty...

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Expert Advice For Selecting An Estate Executor – Family vs Professionals

Identifying Your Executor Before nominating your closest family member or best friend to be the executor of your estate, it is important to consult with professionals to evaluate your situation given the complexity and number of considerations when selecting an executor. You want to ensure you are making things easy and uncomplicated for your beneficiaries while also ensuring that your family legacy remains intact. While many people choose a close friend or family member, it is an onerous task for any individual to undertake, particularly when they are grieving a loss. Before you decide, you should consider the benefits of selecting...

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Using Workers’ Month to Know More About Your Rights: New Earning Thresholds

May is Workers' Month and an opportunity for both employers and employees to ensure they are up to date with all relevant labour legislation as well as with contractual rights and responsibilities in their particular workplace.   From 1 April, 2024, the basic earnings threshold as stipulated in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) was increased from R241 110.59 per annum to R254 371.67 (or from R20 092.55 to R21 197.63 per month, representing a 5.5 per cent increase from 2023’s thresholds). Basic earnings are calculated before any deductions such as PAYE, medical aid and pension contributions etc but exclude travel allowances, bonuses and...

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Collective Property Buying – Smart Strategies For Shared Ownership

Investing in property is considered one of the savviest financial moves you can make, offering stability and potential long-term growth. However, for individuals unable to afford property alone, purchasing with a partner, friend, family member or in a group can provide a viable pathway into the property market or kick-start an investment journey.   While this collaborative approach has its advantages, it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations that must be carefully considered upfront to protect all parties involved.   Understanding the dynamics Entering into a property purchase agreement with another party requires a thorough understanding of the implications involved...

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The Consumer’s Guide to Debt Prescription

Ever received a demand for an old debt you’d forgotten about completely? You're not alone. In South Africa, the law provides relief through a concept called prescription of debt. At Hammond Pole Attorneys, we believe in empowering consumers with knowledge about their rights and responsibilities regarding prescribed debt.   What is the prescription of debt all about? Prescription refers to a legal concept in South Africa where a creditor's right to claim unpaid debt expires after a specific period. This means that after enough time has passed, you are no longer legally obliged to settle the debt.   How long does prescribed debt stay on...

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Securing Your Family’s Future After Your Death

Ensuring that your affairs are in order after your death is important, but it is even more critical that you organise your estate before you pass if you are the parents of minor children under the age of 18. While no one wants to think of leaving behind a young family, the consequences for them in the event of your untimely death without proper provision having been made for their future, can be traumatic. It is therefore imperative that you have a correctly drawn- up last will and testament to cover all necessary arrangements. For parents of minors Children under the age of...

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Spotting Employment Contract Red Flags: A Guide for Employees and Employers

Often in our enthusiasm to secure a new job, we choose to ignore or overlook potential red flag issues around the terms and conditions of the employment offer. But mutual trust between employer and employee is essential for a harmonious working environment and there is often no going back after getting off to a bad start.     For both employer and employee, a good start includes the signing of a contract whose terms and conditions have been agreed to by both parties. Although the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) does stipulate that written particulars of employment should be provided to the...

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The Road to Property Development in South Africa

Property development in South Africa can be a lucrative and profitable business for the aspiring and able entrepreneur. However, given our rigid legislation, municipal by laws and compliance framework, property development can also be a costly and longwinded exercise if not planned appropriately.   THE LAND A suitable piece of land must first be identified and acquired before embarking on a proclamation. This is an essential pre-development requirement, which is a process of obtaining council consent and publicly declaring the developer's intention to commence with the project. At the commencement of the project, a developer would need to assemble a team of professionals including a...

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