Because of the ethical nature of the services which they render and the specialist knowledge which they have at their disposal, the office of a Notary Public is held in high esteem.
Notarisation, apostille and legalisation services provided by notaries usually include notarised and/or certified copies of: Marriage Certificates, Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Single status Certificates, Divorce Certificates, Police Clearance Certificates, Powers of Attorney, copies of ID pages or Passports, educational documents and others.
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Notarial Document Services
Certain documents are required by law to be notarially executed, in which case a notary has to draft the document which is then signed and witnessed in the presence of the notary. These documents are known as notarial deeds, and include, inter alia, ante- and postnuptial contracts, deeds of servitude, deeds of cession of usufruct, notarial leases, trust deeds of donation and notarial bonds. Such documents are kept in the notary’s safekeeping and the notary is also required to keep a protocol and register of all the documents drafted by and attested to before him.
Notary Apostille & Legalisation Services
Besides notarial deeds, a notary is furthermore needed for the noting of protests regarding a bill of exchange as well as Notary Apostille & legalisation services which include attestation, authentication and notarising of documents for use in foreign countries.
Legalisation of documents means that official (public) documents are affixed, sealed and signed either with an Apostille Certificate to be attached to certain documents which are to be used internationally (where countries are party to The Hague Convention, to which South Africa is a party), or with a Certificate of Authentication (where countries are not party to The Hague Convention).
~ Natasha van Greuning (LLB)
In South Africa, an ante-nuptial contract needs to be signed by the spouses in the presence of two witnesses and attested by a notary public.