Last Will and Testament Apostille – Cape Town
In South Africa, dealing with the aftermath of a death in the family is never easy, and it can get more complicated when you receive an inheritance from overseas. The inheritance may come with surprising strings attached and usually requires a lot of legal paperwork when the deceased held assets overseas.
Whenever there is an international dynamic to inheritance, some form of documentation has to be submitted. In most cases, documents like the Last Will and Testament, the Letter of Executorship and the Death Certificate are required to be legalised/apostilled from South Africa for overseas authorities. Indeed, the executor of the deceased’s estate will need to provide these documentation to the authorities in the jurisdiction where the assets are held. The last will and testament will commonly be annexed to the Letter of Executorship and this can be classed as one document for the Apostille process. However, certain authorities overseas will insist on the will also being legalised with the apostille as an individual document.
In the event that a foreign law does apply to the inheritance, unless the South African notary is sufficiently aware of the domestic inheritance legislation, a certification of said law will also need to be obtained from the appropriate authority of the foreign country. Once again, legalisation/apostille and sworn translation may be needed depending on the circumstances.
There may be additional documents required but this would be determined the requirements of the local authorities in the country in which the assets are held.
Apostille Document Requirements
In South Africa, apostille certificate can be affixed on original document or on a notarised copy. Therefore, the document must be presented in good condition, with all stamps and signatures clear and readable. Additionally, the documents must be free of alien markings or labels.
Certain documents, such as police clearance certificates must be recent for obvious reasons. This may also apply to marriage certificates and other documents representing a current status of the people represented in the certificate.
10 Frequently Asked Questions About Apostille In South Africa
Gathering the proper paperwork to get an apostille in South Africa can be confusing. We understand that working with the government and the all necessary paperwork can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry; we are here to answer your questions regarding the apostille process. We are asked a lot of questions and wanted to share some with you
The Apostille certificate is an official government issued certificate attached to public documents so these documents can be valid for use internationally. The Apostille was introduced as an alternative to the old and long legalization process through The Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.
IIt is an intergovernmental convention which set about establishing a simplified system to allow documentation originating in one member country to be easily recognized as authentic in another member country. The norms were established at The Hague Convention of 6 October 1961.
As a general rule of thumb, apostille certificates are necessary when a document from one country has to be used in another country’s legal proceedings. For example, you may be a citizen of South Africa who is seeking residency in a European country like France. In order to get the residency status you want, you may need an apostilled version of your South African birth certificate to prove your identity.
Any country that is a member of the Hague Convention will accept an apostille certificate from South Africa without further legalisation. Here’s a full list of countries that are member of the Apostille convention.
In South Africa, Apostilles certificates are provided by the South African High Courts and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) located in Pretoria.
If you apply for our standard service we can legalise your document in 2-4 working days. We also offer a same day- Express apostille service. Read about it here
- High Court Apostille : R 650.00 per document
- Translation + Apostille: R 850.00 per document
No, foreign documents cannot be apostilled in South Africa. South Africa is only allowed to apostille documents from our country. All foreign documents must receive the apostille or legalization from the country of origin.
In most cases, yes. Depending on the document, you may need an original sent to us or there are times we can work with a copy. But it is usually not a problem to receive your apostille on a South African document, no matter where in the world you are located.
Any document that is written in a foreign language and that needs to be presented to official bodies (e.g. Embassies, consulates or administrative bodies) must be accompanied with a sworn translation in the receiving country official language. Authorities requesting the apostille often require certified translations of documents before they will accept the original. By providing a certified translation of your document you are assisting the overseas organisation in understanding the content of your document.
Global-Apostille offer fast, efficient and seamless service to meet your expectation. Client confidentiality as paramount and endeavour to provide a first class service to our clients. To find out more about our fast and reliable document legalisation service.
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