One of the perks of being a notary public is meeting people who originate from all over the world.

When a person living in the UK has worked some of their life in another country or has a relative who did, they may accrue a pension entitlement in that country.  Most pension authorities are willing to continue to pay a pension to an overseas resident provided that the person with the entitlement to the money is shown, on an annual basis, still to be alive.  As a notary public, my certificate affirming that someone is alive is acceptable to overseas pension authorities.  I have can complete a form provided by the pension authority or use my own template to verify the fact of life.  When doing so, I need to meet you (or the person having the pension entitlement) and ask that you bring proof of your identity to the meeting, in the form of your passport and proof of current address.

Malcolm rang me on a Friday afternoon, keen to progress his documents as soon as possible.  His father was Swedish and had recently died, resulting in a pension entitlement needing to be dealt with.  Malcolm had received a form prepared by the Swedish pension authorities, which required the form to be signed in the presence of a notary as a means of creating a “certificate of life”, confirming Malcom to be alive and well.  In addition, that document was required to be accompanied by a certified true copy of his passport.  Malcolm said that he did not have a means to scan his document or print it at home but I said that was fine because I could do that for him.  I arranged for Malcolm to visit me on the Saturday morning and we prepared his certificate of life and a certificate of his passport, ready for him to return to the pension authority in Sweden.

What documents do you need to see to prepare a certificate of life?
How long does it take to get a certificate of life?
Can you prepare a certificate of life without meeting me in person?

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