Your statutory declaration may be declared invalid and unenforceable if it has not been signed and witnessed by an appropriate person.
A statutory declaration is a legal document confirming that something is true to the best of the knowledge of the person making it.
For a declaration to be valid, the information within it should be true, accurate and impartial.
When may a statutory declaration be required?
Statutory declarations are usually used to satisfy a legal requirement in instances where there is no other evidence available to confirm that something is true.
A few common examples of instances that may require a statutory declaration include:
- To declare your identity, nationality, or marital status.
- To declare the originality of an item when applying for a patent.
- To declare the solvency of a company.
- To declare items for import or export.
- To transfer an asset to an executor of a will.
- To confirm a document is an exact copy of an original one.
Who can sign the statutory declaration?
A statutory declaration must be signed by two people; the person making the declaration, and the person witnessing them sign the declaration.
Who can witness the signature?
For the declaration to be valid it must have been witnessed and signed by one of the following:
- A solicitor.
- A Commissioner for Oaths – a person authorised to verify legal documents, like statutory declarations, by the Chief Justice.
- A Notary Public – a lawyer who specialises in the authentication of legal documents internationally.
If you are using a solicitor to witness your signature, then they must be impartial, it cannot be the same solicitor as the one acting for you in a legal matter.
For impartiality, it is important that the person acting as witness is not related to or known socially by you, this could lead the court to question the enforceability of the document.
Failing to have your signature witnessed by an appropriate person will result in your declaration being declared invalid and unenforceable.
Creating a statutory declaration
Statutory declarations are governed by the Statutory Declarations Act 1835 and must all follow a set structure and contain very specific wording.
Statutory Declarations from Wafer Phillips
Our team of solicitors here at Wafer Phillips can either help you with the preparation of your statutory declaration, or the witnessing and signing of your declaration.
Please note that we can only help with one or the other, to ensure that your declaration is impartial. If we help you to prepare your declaration, then we can also assist you in finding a suitable person to witness your signature if you require us to do so.
For further help and advice with statutory declarations, or to book an appointment with us, get in touch with our team of solicitors by giving us a call on 0151 256 7898.