Legal Assistance

Life is full of surprises and you never know when you might require legal assistance. Because legal matters can be complex and costly, navigating your way through the process can be quite frustrating. If you have legal protection at your easy disposal, however, then you can continue through life knowing that any legal costs will be covered and that counsel from the best legal teams is just a quick call away. From divorce and maintenance proceedings to employment contracts and small claims, having access to a team of legal experts will give you peace of mind through a variety of situations.

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If you do your research correctly, then you will discover that there are a number of excellent legal assistance providers in South Africa. The difficulty sets in, however, when you need to compare the plans to choose one that you feel is both affordable and fair.

By providing us with just a few details, the Money Expert website can offer a wealth of information. Filling in our form will take just a few minutes of your time and in return, we will provide you with quotes from the best legal assistance providers. This will make the comparison process a breeze and there will be one less thing in life to worry about.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Legal Assistance?

Lawyers have a reputation for being excessively expensive, often charging hundreds of rands for just short amounts of their time. This is why individuals who could benefit from good legal counsel often end up with the short piece of the straw because the exorbitant legal fees are out of their means. But this is where legal assistance or “legal insurance” provides a solution.

Legal assistance is a unique insurance product that will cover the costs incurred during legal disputes. It’s an excellent and relatively inexpensive option that will give you access to the guidance you need when you do not understand your legal rights.

Let’s delve into how it works, what the benefits are, and who qualifies for this type of cover.

How Does legal Assistance work?

Legal insurance works similar to health insurance. You will be requested to pay a small monthly premium and in exchange, you will be covered for legal issues that did not exist prior to your application. Depending on your legal aid provider, you may be requested to use a specific team of attorneys or you can use your own lawyer and claim for the fees you have had to pay over. Paying a small monthly premium saves you from having to cover the larger bills issued by law firms all at once.

After being approved for a legal aid policy, you will be able to contact your legal insurance company for advice at any time (most providers offer a free 24-hour service). The advice will be given to you by a legal advisor or lawyer and if the matter requires further litigation, then you will be allocated a legal representative.

Legal aid will cover the cost to have an attorney represent you in a court of law. Usually, the attorney you are issued will fall within the legal insurance provider’s network but some providers will allow you to select your own attorney. If you choose your own attorney, it’s possible that only a portion of his or her fees will be covered by the legal aid company.

The type of cover offered can vary between providers but most plans include counsel and legal representation in the following areas:

  • Property transfer and legal fees
  • Estate planning
  • Tax questions
  • Consumer protection
  • Debt advice
  • Marriage mediation
  • Family mediation
  • Home improvement or contractor issues
  • Preparing a will
  • Adoption matters
  • Labour matters
  • Criminal matters

Legal insurance can be taken out for an individual, a family or a business and a plan can vary depending on the type of cover that could be required.

What Types of Legal Assistance Are Available?

There are many different types of legal insurance products available and the policies will vary between providers. In South Africa, the core of legal assistance is to help a policyholder to minimise stress when dealing with opposition from another person or company. Often, plans are tailored to suit your precise needs and depending on the level of cover you require, your plan can include one or more of the following types of legal assistance.

  • Criminal Matters

    If a charge of crime has been laid against you or if you have laid a charge against a third party, then this form of legal aid will provide you with assistance when it comes to applying for bail and when you need legal representation during a criminal trial.

  • Civil Matters

    When a civil claim has been made, for example, a traffic violation or an accident claim, then legal insurance will provide you with cover by defending and instituting the claims.

  • Labour Matters

    Labour Matters is a type of cover that will provide support that relates to grievances, unfair dismissal, and labour practice, as well as with labour court representation.

  • Family Matters

    With regards to family matters, most legal assistants will provide you with a mediator or a representative to give you guidance where divorce and maintenance matters are concerned. This service can also include the creation and filing of prenuptial agreements.

  • Identity Theft

    If your personal details have been stolen and used for fraudulent transactions, then legal insurance will provide you with the correct recourse in connection with identity theft.

  • Legal Assistance for Businesses

    If you are a business owner then some companies will be able to tailor a plan that would best suit the diverse legal requirements of your business and its dealings.

Do I Need Legal Assistance?

Almost anyone can benefit from purchasing legal assistance, especially because the monthly payments are affordable for even the tightest budgets. And with the little you do pay for your cover per month, you can rest assured knowing that you will have access to the best advice and representation if the need ever arises.

Legal assistance can be an essential tool for those who are starting out in life and it’s never too early to purchase this type of cover. From buying a home and starting a family to managing your estate and investing in a business, legal guidance always comes in useful.

As you progress in life, legal aid can be just as necessary. There may come a time where you need to sell your property, deal with estate management or draw a will. Seniors also more vulnerable to falling victim to scams and fraudulent activities and having access to a lawyer could be the relief you need when you find yourself in a sticky situation.

Legal assistance can also:

  • Save you from going into debt to cover the costs of unexpected lawyer fees
  • Help you to avoid lengthy courtroom battles by finding a more amicable and effective solution to your legal problems
  • Give you access to expert advice from the best and most highly qualified lawyers

How Much Does Legal Assistance Cost?

Lawyers can be expensive and this is why there are so few people who reach out for professional guidance. But with legal insurance as an option, anyone can have access to the best legal advice and representation from as little as R50 per month.

Of course, your premium total will depend on the level of cover you require and the more comprehensive your needs are, the higher your rate will be. Businesses also tend to pay more towards premiums than those who have applied for personal cover.

Before signing your policy, you need to ask the provider if there are any hidden costs. Banks and insurance companies are obliged to give you a clear breakdown of the complete fee structure upfront.

For example, some legal insurance providers charge a monthly premium only while others stipulate that you will also be billed three times your monthly premium per matter.

Many legal aid providers also offer policies with added benefits, making their higher rate a little more worth your while. For example, if you are retrenched, then there are legal plans in South Africa that will pay your premiums for the period of retrenchment (usually up to 6 or 12 months).

How To Get Cheap Legal Assistance?

Finding the right legal assistance can be a timely procedure but to make life easier, there are insurance comparison sites that can do the tedious work for you. The Money Expert site, for example, provides an excellent tool that will help you to shop around for quotes so that you can scrutinize the prices and cover offered by the various providers.

Because legal assistance is often required, there are many companies that offer this type of product. This is good news because it keeps rates competitive and you will be able to find a plan that suits both your needs and your budget.