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Index of Legal Terms

A definitive collection of legal terms that are used by attorneys in contracts, agreements and other legal documents in South Africa.

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Garnishment: A legal proceeding in which a creditor seeks to obtain payment from a debtor out of money, salary, or property of the debtor. The procedure takes place after a judgment against the debtor has already been handed down.

General instruction: An instruction by a judge to a jury, setting down the salient points in the case that must be considered before bringing in a verdict. In this instruction, the judge will state that the merits of the case must be decided only on the evidence. The judge will also state the limitations of the issues to be decided.

General partners: Owners of a partnership who are responsible for the management of the partnership, receive a share of the partnership's profits and losses, and who are personally liable for the actions of the other partners and the debts of the business.

General partnership: An unincorporated business owned by more than one person, where all of the partners share equally in the management, profits and losses.

General Power of Attorney: A document in which a person authorizes another person or entity to act on his or her behalf in a variety of situations.

Gift tax: A tax on the transfer of property from one living person to another. The tax is levied on the transfer, not on the property transferred.

Give notice: To inform someone that a legal suit is about to take place. Such notice is usually served legally, although it may be informal notification.

Good faith: Honest intentions; fairness; equity. (One deals in good faith when one attempts, without guile or deception, to settle a controversy.)

Grace: A favour; dispensation; indulgence.

Grandchildrens Trust: An arrangement where property or money is transferred by a grandparent (grantor) to a person (trustee) for the benefit of the grantor's grandchildren (beneficiaries).

Grant: 1. A transfer of property by deed. 2. To give; to bestow. 3. A gift.

Grantor: A person who sets up, and transfers property to, a trust.

Gross income: The total income of a person or business, prior to deducting expenses.

Gross negligence: 1. Failure to act where duty demands that one act. 2. Acting in such a manner that one ignores the safety of others. 3. Willful neglect.

Gross Revenue: Total receipts of a business.

Guarantee: An individual to whom a guarantee is made.

Guarantor: One who makes a guarantee.

Guaranty: 1. A statement by a producer that his product meets certain standards, and that if it proves to be defective, he will make restitution; a warranty. 2. To undertake the responsibility of paying someone's debt should he fail to pay it himself.

Guardian: A person who has been given the legal right and duty to take care of another individual and/or that individual's property. Guardianships are granted when a person does not have certain legal rights, such as a minor, to take care of himself and his affairs, or a mentally ill or debilitated person not being capable of managing himself and his affairs.

Guilty: The opposite of innocent; the verdict that is handed down when one has been convicted of a crime or offense; the plea of admission that a defendant may make, be it guilty of a parking violation or guilty of a murder.

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