July 12, 2018
What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public, also sometimes known as a Notary Public of the Common Law, is a person qualified and appointed to witness, administrate or authenticate documentation and other elements involved in non-contentious matters of common law. These are issues that concern the law but that do not involve opposing sides. They usually include estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and matters of foreign and international business. Broadly speaking, the matters dealt with by a Notary Public tend to fall into three categories. These include:
Acknowledgments (this basically means that a Notary Public bears witness to the fact that a particular document exists and is genuine).
Jurats (this is a type of oath or promise that all facts contained within a document are true).
Certifications of Copies (if the document is not an original, a Notary Public can vouch for the fact that it is an exact replica of the original).
A Notary Public commonly seals a document after it has been witnessed, in order to prove that it has not been tampered with or changed since its signing.
Common Law vs Civil Law
To clarify, a Notary Public deals with matters involved in Common Law as opposed to Civil Law. Common Law is a legal system that is based on precedent, meaning that it is based on the outcomes of previous legal cases and can be modified when new precedents are set. Civil Law, by contrast, adheres to a strict set of codes and legislation that have generally been set up prior to any particular cases being tried.
When Might I Need a Notary Public?
If you wish to undertake the signing of any legal documentation within the common law (this does not include “official” marriage, birth or death certificates, for example, as they are civil law documents), a Notary Public can act as an impartial third party witness to this. These officials serve to ensure that all documentation and the signatures thereon are legitimate and do not take advantage of or defraud any other party. They can also confirm that the signatures in question were made by the correct person and that they were not forged or produced under duress.
What if I Don’t Use a Notary Public?
If your documentation has not been witnessed by a Notary Public, it is unlikely to be considered totally legally binding, as the presence of a Notary Public’s signature and seal confirms that there has been no fraud involved in its production, contents or signing, that all of the information it contains is true, and that the person who has signed it is who they say they are. If it has not been witnessed by a Notary Public, your paperwork may be rejected, and, depending on the type of documentation you are dealing with, you may be liable for some form of investigation as a result. It is definitely best to arrange to have all relevant paperwork signed and sealed by a Notary Public to prove its legitimacy and prevent hold-ups further down the line.
Where Can I Acquire The Services of a Notary Public?
Many legal organisations and companies offer the services of a Notary Public, as do numerous town halls and local councils. If you are unsure of whether or not you need a Notary Public to authenticate your documentation or bear witness to any common law matters you may be involved in, you can check with the specialists at Prosperity Law. Their legal experts will advise you on the matter, and, if you discover that you do need the assistance of a Notary Public, they will be able to perform that service for you. Prosperity Law’s Notary Publics specialise in:
- Administering oaths & statutory declarations
- Authenticating residency certificates
- Preparing foreign adoption applications
- Authenticating documents to assist in the opening of bank accounts within, or outside of, the UK
- Authenticating documents to assist in the opening of corporate branch offices within, or outside of, the UK
- Authenticating company and business documents and transactions for foreign contracts
- Authenticating documents for immigration or emigration purposes
- Authenticating documents needed in order to marry or work abroad
- Dealing with lost passports, share certificates and other documents
- Dealing with documents relating to the purchase or sale of land and property abroad
- Dealing with documents relating to foreign wills, inheritance and estate administration
- Notarising execution of power of attorney for a company, limited liability partnership or other trading medium
- Authenticating company and business documents and transactions for the formation of foreign subsidiary companies
- Preparing and witnessing powers of attorney for use overseas
…and many more matters besides.
For further information, just call 0161 667 3697 today.