Can’t travel but need to deal with matters overseas? How a notary can help

3 mins

Posted on 16 Mar 2020

In these trying times, one of the many issues that has arisen is the limited ability of people to move freely from country to country. This in turn makes it difficult for companies and individuals to manage their affairs in different countries as they cannot be there in person. Given the current indications, it is probably going to be some time before things return to normality. In the meantime, one solution to the current circumstances is to authorise others based in the relevant country to act on your or your company’s behalf. A typical form of written authorisation is a power of attorney, but depending on what authority is being delegated this can be done by other means such as a letter or other document.

These ‘authority giving documents’ need to be thought through carefully.  It is important to strike a balance between giving the recipient of the authorisation enough authority to do what is required, but not too much that it creates a risk that the authority may be mis-used in some way. We regularly guide clients in preparing these documents. As notaries, we can also notarise the documents once they are prepared by authenticating the signature to the document and confirming that the signatory possessed the requisite authority to execute the document. Notarisation is needed in practically all cases where a document is going to be used and relied on abroad. The recipient and the third parties they have to deal with want to know that the document has been legitimately signed by the person giving the authority and the authentication by the notary (an internationally respected and recognised public officer) does this.

Once notarised the document may also need some form of consular legalisation for it to be accepted overseas, either from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (by means of an apostille) or at an Embassy. This legalisation process essentially acts as confirmation to the third party that the work of the notary public has been acknowledged and accepted by the UK government and/or the relevant national embassy and that they can therefore rely on the notarised document. Our office provides a comprehensive legalisation service which means we can arrange for documents to be legalised for use in any part of the world. Due to our relationships with consular businesses, we can also get documents turned around much faster than would otherwise be the case.  This can be very helpful for urgent matters.

We appreciate that at this point, with lots of people either unable or reluctant to travel away from their homes or offices, holding a face to face meeting is likely to be challenging. We have therefore adopted measures which will make this process simpler and more convenient for our clients and which allows their documents to get from A to B, even if they currently cannot do so themselves.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss your requirements, please email me: or call me on 07827 964013.  

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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