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Whether you are working, studying, getting married or buying or selling property abroad, you need to ensure that your legal documents will be accepted.
At Forbes Solicitors, our Notary Public, Megan Diamond, can prepare, certify and authenticate any key legal documents you need to be able to carry out your personal or professional affairs in foreign jurisdictions.
In England and Wales, a Notary Public is an internationally recognised legal professional, with the jurisdiction to authenticate and certify the execution of documents required or intended for use abroad.
A Notary Public is usually required when dealing with overseas matters, but in some instances, a Notary Public's services may also be required for use in England & Wales. Their primary role is the preparation, validation and/or certification of documents and transactions under an official seal, in order for them to be accepted in countries outside the UK.
A notary public signature is usually referred to as a notarised signature and relates to a document that requires authenticating (i.e. signing to certify it) by a recognised professional for legal use either here or in another country.
Public Notaries will be needed if you require someone to witness a signature, prepare copies of paperwork or authenticate documents that will need to be legally recognised in a foreign country.
The responsibility of a Notary Public is to everyone who may rely on the documents that they authenticate, not just to the person who asks the Notary Public to authenticate them. Because of this, the Notary Public will carry out checks into what is being notarised and will need to verify the identity of those who appear before them.
Common reasons you may need to use a Notary Public include:
In addition to this, if you own a company that does business abroad, you may also require the assistance of a Notary Public. Some instances of this can include:
At Forbes Solicitors, we strongly recommend that you consult with a Notary Public well in advance of carrying out any personal matters abroad, to ensure you know exactly what documents you will need. Our Notary Public, Megan Diamond, can then ensure that all documents are properly prepared, certified and/or authenticated, to minimise the chances of any unexpected barriers or delays cropping up that could cost time, money and a lot of unnecessary stress.
You may be advised that your document needs to be 'legalised' or 'apostilled'. This means that the Notary Public's signature needs to be verified by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 'the FCO' and/or the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which the document is to be used. The certificate the FCO attach to the document is known as an 'apostille'.
In most cases in the UK, a notary public is a solicitor who has taken an additional qualification to become a notary public. Notaries are appointed by the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and are regulated by the Master of the Faculties.