Different kinds of legal documents exist to serve various purposes. As part of a legal process, there are some documents which must detail the specific time, place, and witnesses that have been present at its signing or its verification. Legal documents often have a clause at the end that provides all these pieces of information. This clause is referred to as a jurat.
The term jurat is derived from the Latin word juratus, which translates to swear. Thus, the jurat provides critical information as to the location, the time, and the witnesses upon which the document was sworn to. A jurat is a necessary clause to include in all documents for such documents to be recognized as legal. It is often the responsibility of a lawyer or notary to provide a jurat within a legal document.
There is a standard format used by lawyers or notaries when providing a jurat. Most jurats begin with “Signed before me on this date…” An official, who serves as a witness, is present upon the signing of the document by the individual who is the subject of the document. The official takes note of the time and place upon which the singing was done. Once the signing is done, the official signs the document as well or affixes a seal in order to provide verification that the document was indeed signed by the subject. Jurats serve various puroses within the legal process. Mostly, jurats are used in order to formalize documents or to certify them as true.