Finding a Statutory Declaration Solicitor Near you can be difficult – and it can be hard to know where to start.
A statutory declaration is a formal statement to confirm that something is true to the best of the knowledge of the person making the declaration.
It MUST be signed in the presence of a solicitor or notary public, and it’s used to meet a legal requirement where no other evidence is available.
Why Might I Need A Statutory Declaration Solicitor?
A statutory declaration might be needed for a variety of reasons, and crucially it needs to be completely truthful and accurate, which is why a solicitor (or notary public) is required to ensure it’s valid by being impartial.
A statutory declaration may be used in situations such as:
- A declaration of nationality, identity, or marital status in the absence of documentation
- Authenticating a statement by company directors declaring solvency in voluntary liquidation
- When people wish to change their name so they can use it on official documentation such as a driving licence, passport, and birth certificate of a child
- Confirming the status of goods for exporting or importing
- Declarations in relation to a patent application
Statutory declarations are governed by the Statutory Declarations Act 1835, but they differ from other legal documents that affirm statements or declarations, such as affidavits.
Statutory declarations may occasionally be referred to as affidavits, but the difference is that an affidavit is a written and sworn statement of facts, while statutory declarations are NOT sworn under oath.
It was initially introduced due to people objecting to taking oaths because of religious reasons, which means that statutory declarations can be made without having to swear under oath.
Plus, affidavits tend to be used in a court setting more often than statutory declarations.
How Do I Ensure A Statutory Declaration Is Conducted Correctly?
The information in a statutory declaration MUST be truthful and accurate – that’s the most important stipulation.
But it needs to be signed by an appropriate person, such as a solicitor, and it’s worth noting that they are not required to verify the accuracy or truth of the declaration…
Their role is to certify that it has been completed of their own free will and to explain clearly that they must tell the truth in the declaration.
However, if you’re found to have made a statement that you knew to be false at the time of writing, you could be subject to the Perjury Act 1911, which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.
The impartiality of the solicitor you use is also crucial to the validity of the statutory declaration.
This means you can’t use a solicitor that’s acting for you in any other legal matter relating to the declaration, and they can have no involvement in the statutory declaration until they witness it (i.e. they can’t draft or create the document).
The witness also can’t be related to or known by you – to avoid a potential lack of impartiality.
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