R1 500 to R5 000 an hour, is what an attorney in South Africa is likely to charge you for their time. Is that something you can afford? Also, who do you call? Different lawyers handle different matters and some don’t consult privately and work for firms. Here is where Legal Cover can help you.
If you are thinking: ‘I’ll never need a lawyer’, think again.
Did you know that you have to register your marriage contract with the courts? Did you know that to wrap up an estate you have to have a lawyer deal with the magistrates?
Legal advice can be anything from a dispute at work, an unfair dismissal, a dispute with your medical aid, or your landlord, to being blacklisted or as small as drafting your marriage contract.
“I’ll just put money away in my savings, and then if I need a lawyer I am covered.”
Sounds easy enough, but then what lawyer do you find, how do you know they are legitimate or charging you correctly? What about the fees associated with going to court? Do you have enough?
Legal Cover means you pay less than you would save per month (this can be as little as R65p/m), and means you have unlimited access to legal advice and representation in court, plus, unlike health insurance, there are no co-payments or deductibles.
The cover will also take care of the cost of attorney’s fees for preparing or reviewing documents and some plans will cover not just the main member, but also his or her spouse and dependents.
That being said, the comprehensiveness of legal cover can vary significantly from one provider to the next. Make sure you read the fine print and understand what’s covered, what isn’t and where you could incur extra costs before you sign up.
What does a good legal Cover plan have?
- A good plan will include attorneys with a variety of specialties. This way, you’ll have access to experts in various scenarios
- A good plan will also have a broad network
- If English is not your preferred language, see whether the network includes attorneys who speak your language
- Look for a plan that will let you work with the same attorney repeatedly, so you can build a long-term relationship with one lawyer.
Personal legal cover is inexpensive, and if you use it, it will easily pay for itself. Even if you aren’t sure if you have any legal needs, signing up for cover so you can inexpensively meet with an attorney once a year can be a good idea, especially in South Africa where we battle a dysfunctional court system.
Meeting with an attorney can help prepare you for any eventuality by identifying areas of your life where you need better legal protection, such as creating a family trust or allocating power of attorney. He or she can also help you update previously created documents or review new documents after a life change such as starting a new job, marriage, divorce or having a child.
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