Notary Public in Pattaya-To be or not to be authorized that is the question!

The good news is that we are all living longer. This can be the bad news for your government who wants to save the treasury of the country. Most of the welfare states will keep your money as long as they can. You have to healthy to live until the age of 65 to have your retirement pension. The problem is that whilst your body may be geared up for this, on occasion of your minds are not. It is also a sad fact that the elderly are being target by the unscrupulous and prejudice, and so it seems very sensible to think ahead.

The notary services are increasingly demanded in Pattaya for these elderly who have to sign a bunch of documents required by their government at least once a year. This is to prove that they sill survive and need pension. As you are well aware, the government has never been cheated by anyone. The HMRC adopts the “long arm tax policy” adopted from the US model to tax your global assets. You will be exempted only in case you abolish your British passport or stay for good in the heaven.

Your government has to make sure that the pension will not be paid to the retiree who has already passed away to the heaven. They need someone whom they can trust to certify your signature or sometimes attest your residing address and some affidavits.

In the past, these elderly would have to travel to their embassy in Bangkok. They would endure the red tape process with some snobbish embassy staff who behaves like a president of a banana republic.

Now the elderly may see the light in the limbo by hiring their easy going Thai lawyer in Pattaya for this process. Most of their relationship is developed into friends who can talk and laugh to each other. These lawyers may digest all incomprehensible legalese to for their clients.

Some foreigners may require the notary services for more sophisticated matters involved with the legalese terms, i.e., notarization, authentication, attestation, legalization or apostille for legal documents involved with the legal process and authorities in their country.

For this sophisticated notarization, you have to deal with the lawyer who is literate in the legal system and requirement in your country. There are some important questions you should candidly ask your lawyer:- “Do you clearly understand the requirement of the authorities in my country who request this notarial work?” and most importantly “Are you authorized by the law of the Kingdom of Thailand to profess as a notary public?”

Is there a “Notary Public” in Thailand? The answer is depending on the answer if there is the law governing this profession. In many developed countries, there is the act of parliament for this profession. In England and Wales, the first notary act was promulgated in the 1533s in which the regulation of notaries was modernized in the 1990s as a result of Section 57 of the Court and Legal Services Act 1990.

In Thailand, the title of “Tanai Kwam” is a practicing lawyer licensed by the Lawyers Council of Thailand by the Lawyers Act 1985.

Tanai Kwam” can be engaged in all legal professions without any professional specialism. In the UK, the practicing lawyers are categorized as a solicitor and barrister. The Lawyers Act 1985 of Thailand never categorizes the legal practice in Thailand.

The Lawyers Council of Thailand issued the regulation no. 102/2009 to recognize the registration of the licensed lawyers (Tanai Kwam) for attestation and certification of documents. The simple question is if this regulation is the law to regulate and authorize the Tanai Kwam who has passed the professional training by the Lawyers Council of Thailand to profess themselves as a notary public.

The Lawyers Council of Thailand established the Registry of the Signature and Document Attestation to regulate these special lawyers as a “Notarial Services Attorney”

The problem is that the Kingdom of Thailand has not yet enacted the act of parliament for the notary public.

It should not be a problem if a Notarial Services Attorney only witness the signature or certifies the identity and authenticate some private documents.

The problem can be for the notarization which is involved with the authorities or contentious legal process in another country, i.e., maritime claim or legalization of the public documents to be used in the Court of Justice. The authenticity of these documents or claim can be challenged by the opposition party on the ground that the Notarial Services Attorney is not legally recognized by the law of the Kingdom of Thailand which can be the “Unauthorized Practice of Law”. In this situation, the Notarial Services Attorney must have the competence to formally explain to the relevant authorities in that country by the written affidavit or even go to testify in the Court of Justice.

The Kingdom of Thailand is not the signatory of the Hague Convention (1961) Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Therefore, the legalization and certification of the public document, e.g., birth certificate, marriage certificate and death certificate must be made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the apostille or stamp of your embassy in Thailand.

In Pattaya, there are some foreigners with no professional background set up an office to jack the whole trade. Some may render the notary services. These unlicensed vultures will just copy the wording they can easily find in the internet and ask their Thai lawyer friend to sign with the stamp. They will not care about the consequence.

It is advisable to deal directly with your Thai lawyer who can act as the Notarial Services Attorney. This lawyer should know about the requirement of the user of the documents in your country and of course the Hague Convention 1961. Your lawyer should have his/her proper office regulated by the Registry of Signatures and Documents Attestation of the Lawyers Council of Thailand. For the future identification, your lawyer should be reached by the internet and website in which the license and professional profile are publicly displayed.

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Even you are retired but it never means that you must be retard in this land of smiles!