What is a Notary? A Notary Public (also called a Notary) is a practicing attorney with an additional qualification who has been admitted by the High Court. As a result of such they have been given statutory and common law powers to prepare and attest certain specialized legal documents, administer oaths and perform other wide-ranging administrative functions of a national and international nature.
The office of a public notary is the highest office of trust. It has a long and distinguished history. The office has its origin in the civil institutions of ancient Rome. Public officials, called Scribae, rose in rank from being mere recorders of judicial proceedings, copiers and transcribers, to a learned profession prominent in private and public affairs.
What do Notaries do? The functions of notaries specifically include the preparation and witnessing of certain types of specialized documents including documents for use internationally, deeds for registration in various public offices, wills and powers of attorney, the administering of oaths, witnessing signatures on affidavits, statutory declarations, the certification of copy documents, the noting and protesting of bills of exchange, and the preparation of ships’ protests.
Nash & Co offers notarial services in relation to the following documents:
- Powers of attorney
- Notarial bonds
- Antenuptial contracts (An Antenuptial contract is an essential document that, under South African law, determines whether your marriage will exist in community of property or out of community of property, with or without the accrual system)
- Long and short term lease agreements
- Witnessing the execution of documents and verifying the authenticity of signatures
- Authenticating copies of documents
- Shipping protests
- Arranging Apostille certificates
- Legalizing documents for use abroad in terms of foreign and/or international law, which includes The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (“The Hague Convention”)
What is an Antenuptial Contract? A contract entered into prior to marriage with the purpose of regulating the terms and conditions of the marriage. The parties to an antenuptial contract are the prospective spouses. Only prospective spouses that are free to marry each other or enter into a same-sex civil union may enter into an antenuptial contract.
Why is an Antenuptial Contract important? If your spouse becomes indebted, to protect yourself against your spouses' creditors, it is important that you have an antenuptial contract that is registered at the Deeds Registry.
When must an Antenuptial Contract be entered into? The antenuptial contract must be signed prior to the marriage and registered within three months after signature.
Securing your future through this important document offers a number of benefits by, for example:
- Preventing your intended marriage from automatically being in community of property
- Offering transparency in your relationship by recording the rights, duties and consequences (legal and proprietary) of your marriage
- Preventing unnecessary disputes with your spouse down the line
Nash & Co offers a fully comprehensive service to local and foreign couples which includes the following:
- An initial one-hour consultation at our offices
- Drafting a tailor-made antenuptial contract
- A follow up consultation to sign the contract
- A letter for your marriage officer confirming that a contract has been executed
- Lodging the contract at the Deeds Office
- Notifying you that the contract has been registered and providing you with a scanned copy of it
In addition, we strongly recommend that couples consider executing a will together with their Antenuptial Contract.