FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When do I need an attorney?


Many people believe they need an attorney’s services only to solve a problem or to get out of a difficult situation. Often‚ the best time to see an attorney is not when you are in legal trouble but before that trouble occurs. By eliminating potential problems, Boela van der Merwe Attorneys can save you time‚ money‚ and needless worry.




What should my attorney expect from me?


Your attorney should expect that you will: 1. Be completely honest about all facts concerning your case‚ whether or not they are favourable to you. 2. Be on time for appointments. 3. Take his/her advice. 4. Understand that we cannot guarantee results. 5. Be patient and understand that legal matters are rarely “open and shut” cases; they require time and research. 6. Pay on time for the work performed.




What should I look for when choosing a legal firm?


Some of things that you should look for in a legal firm‚ include: Their reputation in the community. The attorney’s experience with your type of legal problem (don’t hesitate to ask about this during your initial meeting.) The attorney’s communications skills – willingness and ability to talk to you in a language you understand and to keep you informed about the progress of your case‚ responsiveness to your questions and concerns.




How will I be billed for legal work?


Legal fees are set and determined by an agreement or contract between the attorney and the client. The agreement as to what the attorney is to do and how much the client is to pay may be oral or in writing. The amount of the fee and the basis for the charge are determined by a number of factors: The amount of time spent on your problem. The attorney’s ability, experience, and reputation. The results obtained. The primary types of fee arrangements are: Hourly rate, in which the total fee is determined by the attorney’s hourly charge times the number of hours required to do the job. Fixed fee, in which a specific amount is agreed upon for a known service, such as conveyancing, bankruptcy, will, incorporation, contract, and defense of a criminal charge. Contingent fee, in which the attorney receives a percentage of an amount recovered on the client’s behalf.




What is a contract?


A contract is a legally binding agreement in which property‚ goods or services are provided in exchange for something of value‚ such as money. Some common types of contracts into which an individual might enter include: A purchase agreement for a home; A sales contract or “installment purchase plan” for an automobile‚ appliance‚ or other major purchase; A lease; An authorization to perform home repairs or services; A home loan or personal loan; An employment contract.
Contracts are usually legally binding. Be sure you understand exactly to what you are agreeing. If you have questions, see your attorney before you sign. If you agree to something which is not in your interest, an attorney may not be able to undo the damage.




Can I get out of a contract?


It does depend on the clauses written in the contract. We have experienced attorneys who are able to advice you accordingly.




How do I make an appointment with an attorney?


Simply email our reception or fill in the form on our contact page and we will be in touch to set up an appointment with you.




How do I get a divorce?


The first step would be to contact our office and arrange a consultation with the attorney. Thereafter the attorney will discuss the process to follow as pertaining to your individual case.




How can you help me adopt a child?


The Children's Act 38 of 2005 prescribes the process to be followed. Our firm has successfully assisted many parents in adopting children.




What is the first step in evicting a non-paying tenant?


A letter of demand is the first step and thereafter the legal process of eviction will be discussed.




How do I apply for primary residency of my child?


Section 7 (1) of the Children's Act considers all the factors relating to primary residency of a child. The best interest of the child is paramount in deciding the primary residence of the child.




I'm buying a property, what do I legally need to do?


It is the sellers prerogative to appoint an attorney to attend to the transfer and registration of the property into the purchasers name. The Offer to Purchase must be submitted to our office whereafter the registration process shall commence.




I'm selling a property, what should I do if I accept an offer?


Once an Offer of Purchase has been signed by both parties, the Offer to Purchase is then submitted to our experienced and efficient conveyancing department who will complete the registration process.




How do I make a will?


Arrange a consultation with one of our attorneys who will advise and assist you in drafting your will to suit your individual wishes.




How do I obtain legal advice in a criminal matter/bail applications?


With over two decades of experience in criminal matters we will be able to ensure that you will receive outstanding legal advice on the matter. We do our utmost as we understand you are placing your lives in our capable hands.