Fiji – Deed of Renunciation

FijiIt’s always tough when a family member, especially an immediate family member like a parent or sibling, passes away. Many of our clients in Australia have to deal with family deaths overseas. Sometimes when their family lived and passed away in Fiji, the legal paperwork dealing with that person’s estate also needs to be handled by lawyers and the family in Fiji. Whenever legal paperwork from Fiji needs to be signed in Australia, that paperwork will need to (more often than not) be signed and/or certified by a notary public.

As a leading provider of notary public services, we help many clients across Sydney with their legal paperwork to be sent to Fiji. We’re experienced with assisting clients with their Deed of Renunciation.

What is the Deed of Renunciation?

If you’re entitled to a share of a deceased estate, there may be situations in which you agree to give up your right to that share so that someone else can claim it. For example, when a parent passes away, sometimes the children of the deceased parent may give up (ie, renounce) their share in the deceased parent’s estate in favour of the surviving parent and the way in which they do that is by signing a Deed of Renunciation.

Who writes the Deed of Renunciation?

Normally, the Deed of Renunciation to be used in Fiji should also be written by a lawyer in Fiji – perhaps being the lawyer who is looking after or assisting with the management of the deceased estate. With many of our clients, the lawyer will send the physical legal paperwork to our clients in Australia.

What does notarisation of the Deed of Renunciation involve?

If you’re giving up your share in the deceased estate, then generally you’ll need to sign the Deed of Renunciation in front of the notary public. The notary public will witness your signature before notarising the Deed by stamping and sealing it.

When we notarise the Deed of Renunciation, we usually ask you to sign every page, and we’ll sign and stamp every page. On the last page, we’ll also include a certification that you, according to your name on your passport, signed the document in our presence and that you provided your passport as your identification.

To avoid sending documents back and forth, you should take photos of the signed and notarised Deed and send them to your lawyer in Fiji to check. Only after your lawyer has given their approval do you arrange to send the original document to Fiji.

How should I send the signed and notarised Deed of Renunciation to Fiji?

There are many options to send documents to Fiji, however, we highly recommend using a courier (ie, like DHL or Fedex). Every now and then we have clients who come back to re-sign documents that have gone missing in the mail, even if they were sent by registered mail. A courier generally means it’s a door-to-door service handled by the same company and so in our experience tends to be more reliable (even if it’s a little more expensive).

Do I need authentication or an apostille?

Generally, documents notarised in Australia do not need to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or stamped with an apostille. However, before making any arrangements in Australia, you should check with your lawyer in Fiji and obtain specific advice about signing, notarising, and any other requirement that they may have.