Network of Notaries©

How to Notarize for a Signer Who Has Power of Attorney

Hello, fellow notary enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into a topic that often comes up in our line of work: notarizing for a signer who holds Power of Attorney (POA). If you’re like me, you know that every notarization can present its own unique challenges and nuances. But don’t worry, I’m here to walk you through this process with a conversational, easy-to-understand approach. Let’s get started!

Understanding Power of Attorney

First things first, let’s quickly review what Power of Attorney is. A POA is a legal document that grants one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on behalf of another person (the principal) in legal and financial matters. This can be a huge responsibility, and as notaries, it’s our job to ensure everything is above board and properly documented.

Step-by-Step Guide to Notarizing for a Signer with POA

1. Verify the Agent’s Identity

Just like with any notarization, the first step is to verify the identity of the signer. In this case, the signer is the agent who has been granted POA. Ask for a government-issued photo ID and make sure it’s current. This helps us confirm that the person in front of us is indeed who they claim to be.

2. Review the Power of Attorney Document

Next, you’ll need to review the actual POA document. This is crucial because you need to confirm that the agent has the authority to act on behalf of the principal for the specific type of document they’re signing. Look for:

  • The principal’s name
  • The agent’s name
  • The powers granted to the agent
  • Any limitations or conditions

Make sure the POA is still valid and hasn’t expired or been revoked.

3. Confirm the Agent’s Authority

Once you’ve reviewed the POA document, ask the agent a few questions to confirm their authority. It’s a good practice to make sure they understand the responsibility they’re taking on and that they’re acting within the scope of their authority.

4. Complete the Notarial Certificate

When filling out the notarial certificate, be precise. You’ll need to note that the agent is signing on behalf of the principal. Here’s an example of how you might complete the acknowledgment:

“On this [date], before me, [Your Name], personally appeared [Agent’s Name], who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to within this instrument, as the Attorney-in-Fact of [Principal’s Name], and acknowledged to me that they executed the same in their authorized capacity, and that by their signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.”

5. Record the Notarization

Don’t forget to log the notarization in your notary journal (if required by your state). Include details like the date, type of document, names of the agent and principal, and any identification used.

Common Questions and Tips

Q: What if the POA document is from another state? A: Generally, you can notarize out-of-state documents as long as the notarization takes place within your commissioned state. Always follow your state’s notary laws.

Q: Can I notarize if the principal is not present? A: Yes, the principal does not need to be present if the agent has a valid POA. Just ensure the POA document authorizes the agent to sign on the principal’s behalf.

Q: What if I’m unsure about the POA’s validity? A: If you have any doubts about the validity of the POA document, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Politely decline to notarize and suggest the signer seek legal advice.

Final Thoughts

Notarizing for a signer with Power of Attorney can seem a bit daunting at first, but with these steps, you’ll handle it like a pro. Remember, our role as notaries is to ensure the integrity of the signing process and to provide peace of mind to everyone involved. By being thorough and attentive, you’re doing just that.

Happy notarizing, and remember, every signature you notarize is a step towards protecting someone’s legal rights and responsibilities. Keep up the great work!

Feel free to share your own experiences or questions in the comments below. We’re all in this together, and learning from each other makes us all better notaries.

Author: Vandana

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.