A notary public is an officer of the law, responsible for certifying and attesting documents intended for use anywhere in the world. In Queensland, the notary office continues to be appointed by the Court of Faculties in England under the guidance of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The functions of a notary public have not been defined by statute or instrument. The foundation of their duties have essentially developed as a result of English case law and custom.
Notaries in Queensland apply and are awarded a Faculty for a specific local government area in Queensland but may practise elsewhere in Queensland if allowed in law.
In essence, notaries public are responsible for the following functions:
- Witnessing affidavits, statutory declarations, powers of attorney, contracts, international Wills and other documents for use in Australia and internationally.
- Certification of copy documents for use in Australia and internationally.
- Certification of University testamurs and other educational documents.
- Certification of original documents for production overseas.
- Preparation and certification of powers of attorney, wills, deeds, contracts and other legal documents for use internationally.
- Preparation of Life Certificates – identification of a person and a statement that they are alive.
- Administering of oaths for use in Australia and internationally.
- Exemplification of official documents for use internationally.
- Preparation of ships’ protests;Noting and protesting of bills of exchange.
- Preparation of International Wills.
Source: Society of Notaries Queensland.