If the coronavirus pandemic has made you take stock a little and perhaps made you think that you need to get your affairs in order, just in case something does happen in the future, you may well have already come across notarial services and notary publics… but you may not yet know who these professionals are and when you may need their services.
Notary publics are solicitors who have undertaken additional qualifications, with their main role being to witness signatures, authenticate documents and prepare copies of paperwork that can then be used outside the UK.
Activity can include overseas property transactions, the administration of the affairs of someone who has died, immigration, court proceedings and commercial transactions in other countries.
Once documents have been correctly notarised, they are then ready for the apostille certificate, which authenticates the document to be used outside the UK by any countries that are members of the Hague Convention.
The apostille is simply the name of a specialised certificate that has been issued by the secretary of state. It is then attached to your original document to prove that it is legitimate and authentic so it can be accepted by other member states.
If you’d like to make an appointment with us here at Gumersalls, these can typically be offered within two to five working days, depending on holidays and other work commitments.
The majority of notarial services can be completed on the same day but if further legalisation is required, it may take four or more working days to complete depending on the country involved.