What is a notary public and when will they be used?

Notary Public

A Notary Public is an officer of the law who holds an internationally recognised public office.  The duty and function of a Notary is to prepare, attest, authenticate and certify deeds and other documents intended for use anywhere in the world.

These documents can be both for individuals or private companies.

In England and Wales Notaries are most often concerned with the verification of documents and information that is intended to be used in other countries of the world for clients who have business or property overseas or who are involved in litigation in foreign courts.

Impartial and legally trained witness

In most cases a Notary will act as an impartial and legally trained witness to authenticate and certify the execution of documents.

Main duties

The main duties of a Notary are confined to the following:

  • Preparing and witnessing powers of attorney for use outside the UK

  • Dealing with the purchase or sale of land and property outside the UK

  • Providing documents to deal with the administration of the estate of people who are abroad, or who own property abroad

  • Authenticating personal documents and information for immigration or emigration purposes, or to apply to marry or work abroad

  • Authenticating company and business documents and transactions

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For more information on:

  • Are Notaries also solicitors?
  • Are there any circumstances in which Notarisation cannot take place?
  • Will the authentication or a notary be enough for the document to be finalised?