A Notary Public is a person (generally a lawyer) appointed by the Chief Justice to certify documents and to witness documents in Ireland for use abroad. Foreign Government bodies, lawyers, institutions and businesses rely on the Certificate from the Notary in Ireland to guarantee the authenticity of the document that has been presented to them.
Types of Notarial documents
Powers of Attorney
When people are buying or selling property abroad, they will often appoint someone in that country to act as their Attorney on their behalf so that they don’t have to be present to sign documents. The Power of Attorney is generally in favour of a lawyer in that Country who they know or who has been recommended to them. Giving a Power of Attorney to a person other than a lawyer can be dangerous as it gives great powers to that person.
The function of the Notary in Ireland is to establish that the person signing the document is who they say they are (by examining their identification documents), that they live where they say they live (by examining their utility bills) and that they have signed the document in the presence of the Notary. It is not the function of the Irish Notary to advise the person on the contents of the document itself because it is a document generally prepared by a foreign lawyer and it should be a lawyer from that Country who advises the client on the content of the document.
While foreign adoptions have become rarer in recent years, it is hoped that this situation will improve. Before a foreign adoption authority will approve the adoption of a child into Ireland, they will require copies of very many documents concerning the couple and these documents must be authenticated by the Notary in Ireland.Notarised copy documents
People travelling abroad to study or work will often require a copy of Degree Certificates, exam results or Police Clearance Certificates to produce to the authorities where they intend working and a Notary will be involved in certifying these documents as copies in a formal way.
A Notary will often be involved in notarising documents signed by somebody travelling abroad or perhaps bringing children abroad with the permission of another parent.
Authorities abroad may often require confirmation from a Notary that the director of a company, for example, has the power to bind the company and this will require the Notary to carry out searches in the Companies Office and issue the relevant Certificates.
Notary Public formalities
Notaries Public are very strict about the formalities in witnessing and certifying documents. They will always insist on seeing original documentation and having the person sign the document in their presence. This level of formality maintains a high standard of reassurance for foreign authorities that Certificates from Irish Notaries are authoritative documents.
The Apostille is a certificate stamped on the back of a document by the Department of Foreign Affairs where the document has already been notarised by a Notary. This certificate is effectively a certificate by the Department of Foreign Affairs that they are satisfied that the Notary that signed the document is a genuine Notary and that the document has been properly notarised. It is a worldwide system used to replace an earlier much more complicated system that was used to certify the identity of the Notary.
Prior to your visit to the Notary, you will be contacted with details of how much the service will cost based on the information you have provided. The cost of Notarial services is generally based on the time involved subject to a minimum charge and is in line with fees charged by Solicitors generally.
For various reasons it may not be possible for the people involved in notarising documents to travel to the office of the Notary and arrangements are often made for the Notary to travel to wherever the notarial service is required.
Should you have any queries about notarising a document please contact Niall Farrell on 045 431 542.