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  • Writer's pictureSpence Law

So what exactly is a Notary Public?

Updated: May 15, 2020

Notary Public notarising documents, Cape Town Notary
Notarial Authentication of documents

A Notary Public in South Africa is an admitted attorney who has passed the competency examination for Notarial Practice, and who has been admitted as a Notary Public by the High Court of South Africa. The Notary Public holds a respected office which is internationally recognised.

Depending on which country documents are required for, your documents may also require an Apostille or will require Authentication.

A Notary Public is not a commissioner of oaths. A Notary Public may certify documents for use abroad- usually documents which are only certified by a commissioner of oaths are not acceptable for use abroad, although documents certified by a Notary Public are usually acceptable, and a Notary Public may prepare a notarial certificate and place his/her seal on such documents.

A Notary Public:

-may notarially certify documents for use abroad;

-may confirm that a person has duly signed a document before him/her;

-has the duty to ensure that the person who signs the document before him/her, truly is that person;

-ensures that any person signing before him/her is competent to sign such document;

-ensures that any person signing any document before him/her is not under any influence or duress when they sign the document;

-when preparing a document on behalf of a client, ensure that the document is carefully explained to the client;

-must carefully inspect a document to ensure its authenticity before certifying that it is a true copy of the original;

-drafts documents which may only be executed before a Notary Public, such as notarial deeds, antenuptial and postnuptial contracts, etc.

-usually performs an impartial role.

Spence Attorneys, Notaries & Conveyancers, Pinelands have a notary in-house who can assist with authentication of documents, notarially certify copies of original documents, prepare antenuptial and postnuptial contracts, advise on estate planning, prepare deeds of trust, attend to administration of estates and prepare wills, and prepare notarial contracts. Feel free to email to book an appointment for your notarial needs.

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