The Services of a Notary Public

While many believe that Notaries Public are needed predominantly to draft antenuptial contracts and authenticate signatures, their expertise extend way beyond that.

Written By of Cowan-Harper-Madikizela Attorneys

A Notary Public is a practising attorney who has obtained an additional qualification and been admitted by the High Court to practise as a Notary Public. A Notary Public not only has additional powers to be able to execute, attest to and certify specialised documents but is also held to a much higher standard of care, trust and ethics than a general attorney.

The documents drawn up and drafted by a Notary are known as notarial deeds, and include, inter alia, ante- and postnuptial contracts, deeds of servitude, deeds of cession, notarial leases, trust deeds, deeds of donation and notarial bonds. An original copy of these are kept in the Notary Public's safekeeping and it is recorded in a register and kept in what is known as a protocol.

Therefore in addition to providing guidance on the different types of matrimonial property regimes recognised in South Africa as well as the drafting of the ante- and postnuptial contracts, they can assist with various documents which may need to be lodged at the Deeds Office.

For instance, in such circumstances where you are entering into an instalment agreement in terms of which a purchaser will be making multiple payments over a long period of time, you may want to consider having a bond registered over movable property as security to secure the purchase price in the event of a default. This grants sellers a real right over another's property.

In addition to the abovementioned, you may wish to transfer certain rights you may have to a third party and this can be done through a deed of cession drafted by a notary. Long-term leases are also registrable in the deeds office, offering tenants enhanced rights compared to those of a standard tenant. This is not to mention the drafting of trust deeds and assisting with matters concerning trusts.

Should you require the assistance of a Notary Public, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.

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