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What is a Notary Public?

So, you’ve been told you need a Notary public. And you’re wondering what on earth one of those is…..

Well, a Notary is a qualified lawyer – many also practise as solicitors – and a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales appointed by the Court of Faculties and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mostly, they deal with documents for use abroad and deal with sometimes baffling overseas legal systems on clients’ behalf. So if you’re buying a holiday home in Spain, for example, they’ll come in very handy.

Their work, for both business and private individuals, includes:

  • Authenticating powers of attorney for use abroad
  • Dealing with buying and selling property abroad
  • Authenticating foreign wills
  • Authenticating personal documents for immigration or emigration or if you want to work or marry abroad

Notaries, there are only about 850 in England and Wales, can basically notarise anything – providing authentication and a secure record for almost any transaction.

Apparently, a rural notary once notarised a fish so that his friends in the pub had no choice but to believe he really had caught a whopper!

  • If you need the help of a Notary Public, please contact Michael Gupwell at Wards Solicitors.
  • For more detailed information about the role of the Notary Public go to The Notaries Society

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    February 2021: Covid-19 arrangements

    Wards Solicitors remains open for business during the national lockdown and we are taking on new cases.  We are available for video call and telephone meetings but cannot currently offer face to face meetings with clients except in some specific emergency situations and at court hearings.

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    • Please email or telephone your usual lawyer or team, or
    • Please telephone the branch most convenient to you between 9am and 5:30pm, Mondays to Fridays.
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    A list of our 12 branches is available here. Our telephones lines are operating as normal behind closed doors.

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