A Story Behind Every Notary

Recently I received a call to notarize for a elderly women. The women had a very thick Austrain accent and appeared to be very sweet on the phone. I happened to be very close by and offered my notary services promptly. She happily agreed and off I went to notarize.

When I got to her assisted living center she said that she needed me to notarize a form stating that she was alive. She even cracked a joke asking me if she was alive. I thought this is going to be interesting! I looked at the form that was being issued from the Austrian government. She was correct that she need to have a notary acknowledgement and the type of form was pertaining to her being alive.

I verified her identification and notarized for her providing her with a California Acknowledgement. Just as I was getting ready to leave we started talking. I was very curious about this sweet lady and why did she need a notary for this type of form?

She then began to tell me her story. She so wanted someone to talk to! She was born in Austria right before World War 2. Her family was Jewish and they foresaw that their lives would be in danger as Hilter started to invade countries and murder innocent people. Her parents sent her off to the United States of America as a little girl to come live with distant relatives. Her other brothers and sisters were sent to other areas. Her parents hid and later reunited with her in the USA. One of her brothers was killed by the Nazis. Her father’s entire family was by the Nazis as well.

This lady was SO FULL OF LIFE AND HAPPINESS! Even as she told me her life story. She laughed and smiled more than most people I know and meet. I had such admiration for her. I just sat and listened as she talked. She later explained that the Austrian government sends her money because she is considered to be a displaced person due to the circumstances during the war. We talked for quite sometime.
When I left I hugged her goodbye. I realized that she had an attitude and outlook towards life that I needed to adapt. She always found the good things in any situation in her life and she always smiled and found something to laugh about! I also realized that my job is not about the type of notarization or the paperwork. It is about the person and behind every notary there is a story.

Notarizing When One Can Not Sign Their Name

The title of this article might already be of some interest to you already! As a notary this is a very challenging and can be a very tedious notary. In twelve years I have done only a handful of these types of notarizations. However these types of notaries are extremely important and must follow all the exact steps of the notarial laws.

Recently I performed a notary for a client who could not sign her name. The law in California requires two witness for this type of notary. I was not prepared for the challenges that were prevalent during the notary. The witness have three vital steps during the notary that have to be performed consecutively and precisely. While trying to notarize, the two witness would stop and care for the patient in the middle of the notary. This might not seem like a big deal to get an interruption. One might just continue the notary where you left off. However, this is not so easy when I have to ensure that the witness are following the steps according to notary laws. I also have to obtain their signatures three different times and on three different places between the document and my journal. I was doing  my best to handle all of this while a feeding tube was administered several times and the temperate in the house was 83 degrees. The signer needed heat running. I had to put my uncomfortable feelings aside event though I was trying to concentrate and I didn’t want to error on the Power of Attorney.

I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes and be patient. I was so dizzy from the heat in house and what was supposed to take twenty minutes was way over an hour, not to mentioned this was my second trip to the house to try to perform notary service. Tried, hungry, and hot then came the next challenge. Just as I was about to obtain what we call in the notary world SIGNATURE BY MARK the patient’s  father says he will not allow the notary to be performed until her mom comes back from shopping at Costco. I am left waiting for the mom.

The mom shows up and I am ready to notarize by SIGNATURE BY MARK. Yeah I am on the home stretch. The witness then decided to feed her again and I am left waiting. After feeding her another challenge presented itself. They couldn’t  get her upright and comfortable to make a mark! I realized something had to be done to complete this notary.  I decided with all the care and concern for the signer I would assist and aid. I got in communication with her, placed the journal on her lap, got a pen that she could hold comfortably and was able to obtain her SIGNATURE BY MARK.

When I left I was exhausted! I was so proud that I performed notarization and helped someone who so desperately need my services. I also am very capable and proud of being a notary public!

Requirements of a Mobile Notary

Recently I received a call from a potential notary client. After a short conversation with her I suggested that she check out my reviews on Yelp and my website. Her response was that she didn’t need to see my reviews that all I do is ask for a photo id and through my stamp on the document. This response made me step back and question my job duties as a notary and the requirements I had to complete to obtain and renew my notary. After that I decided to write a short blog to share with my clients and the general public what it takes to be a notary. I feel information might shift one’s viewpoint that I just check id and through my notary seal on document. In meeting all the qualifications to become a California notary one might note that a notary not only must be an upstanding citizen but must also maintain a high level of responsibility with their job and in life. A notary must also renew their commission every four years. This entails taking new training classes and repeating all the steps listed below.
The qualifications to become a California notary public are as follows-
be 18 years of age or older
be a legal California resident
complete a course of study approved by the Secretary of State
satisfactorily complete and pass a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State
clear a background check
Complete Approved Education
Register for the Exam
Take the Exam and pass Exam
Submit Fingerprints via Live Scan
Await Commission Packet
Purchase Notary Public Materials-Order your official notary stamp/embosser, journal and bond
File Notary Public Oath & Bond

Mobile/Traveling Notary

Lately I have been receiving a lot of phone calls inquiring about my mobile notary services. The question most often asked is, “What is your charge or what do you charge for notary services?” I first need to find out where one would like me to travel to and how many signatures does the client need notarized to provide an accurate quote. Many of the responses I am receiving back from the potential clients are that they don’t understand or are unwilling to pay a travel fee. So I would like to clarify what exactly a mobile/traveling notary is.

A notary public is considered a public officer appointed by a state government. The primary job duty of a notary is to help prevent fraud by witnessing the signing of documents and verifying their authenticity. A traveling mobile notary means that I come to you! This involves driving to you so you can avoid the inconvenience and expense of having to leave your location, spending your time finding a notary and gasoline going to a notary to have your documents notarized. Many people utilize Andrea’s Mobile Notary because they can’t leave their office, home, or business to obtain a notary. A person who is ill and unable to drive or in a nursing facility they definitely need someone to travel to them for their notary services.

The other night I received a call from a man who was on a construction site working. I was having difficulty hearing him on his phone because the job site had poor reception. He was really in a bind. He needed a loan paper notarized that evening, he had forgotten all about the paperwork and the deadline to submit the notary. I drove to his job site and the street he was working on had no street lights! I could hardly see a thing! I performed the service in my car, I mean my office. He was so thankful. His exact words were that I saved the day! I felt such satisfaction and happiness that I helped him. The challenges I encountered where so worth it to me because he was happy and relieved that he now might be able to save his house in time.

This story is being told so that one might see the factors involved in being a mobile notary and why one chooses to pay for a traveling mobile notary. I love providing traveling notary service to people such as the gentleman I just mentioned. This makes my job so worthwhile.

Serving Simi Valley

I am happy to now be a resident of Simi Valley again. I originally moved out here in 1989 and lived here until 1996. In returning back to Simi Valley much has changed in terms of development and growth. I love the fact that Simi Valley is adjacent to Thousand Oaks and Moorpark and next to the neighboring area of Chatsworth. The Santa Susana Mountain range is so beautiful. There is so much to do such as hiking, bicycling, and nature walks. Being west of the San Fernando Valley and North East of the Conejo Valley, one can enjoy the benefits of Simi Valley.  Simi Valley is also ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States. Many famous action packed movies have been filmed in Simi as well due to the mountainous scenery.
A must see in Simi Valley is the beautiful Ronald Regan Library. There is so much to see and do at the library, and the view is spectacular. The library will also host special events throughout the year.

I have been a mobile notary for over ten years. I am a member of the NNA. I am certified, bonded, insured, and background checked throught the NNA. I am pleased to be offering my services to the Simi Valley community. I will travel to your home, business, hospital, nursing home, law office, or whatever location is convenient for you. I am able to notarize various types of documents from Power of Attorney, Pour- Over Will, Grant Deeds, Permission for a Minor to Travel, DMV affidavits for liens, pension and retirement forms, and many other documents that need a mobile notary.

More on Grant Deeds

Here is some additional information on grant deeds. A grant deed is  used in the State of California. There is another type of deed called a warrenty deed as well. A warrenty deed however is not used in the State of California.

A grant deed is extremely important due to the fact that it transfers the owner’s ownership and permits that title of the property has not been transferred to another person or party. This deed is most common and is used in most states. A grant deed’s goal and purpose is to gain and establish who has title to the property. When the grant deed is finalized any prior written and recorded deeds now become subordinate to the deed that has been written and recorded.

Now let’s look at a warrenty deed. This type of deed is one that is responsible for the transfer of ownership and precisley promises the buyer that the grantor now has title to the property. This type of deed might have other details and agreements concerning the transaction.

A person may have some difficultiy when trying to research title to a property if a grant deed does not appear. A grant deed is almost always notarized. A notary should always excerise  special attention to details when performing notarial services, due to the fact that the deed will be recorded by the County Recorders Office. The County Recorder Office is very particular regarding the notarized deed and requires that the notarization is clear and not smudged. This included all writing and signatures on the deed as well.

Please feel free to call Andrea’s Mobile Notary to schedule an appointment for your grant deed notarization.

Travel Consent Form Notarizations

A notarized letter of consent is a vital form for parents regarding travel for the children. Due to increasing concern for the safety of children, and in an effort to prevent them from being illegally immigrated to foreign countries many governments have initiated special requirements when children under 18 years of age are traveling without both parents. If your child is going to be traveling internationally both parents need to sign a notarized consent to travel form. After a divorce, things can become more difficult for all members of a family.  One area that can lead to major problems are issues regarding travel out of state.  Often documentation or permission is needed for a minor child to by travel out of state. This notarization should be done on behalf of the person or guardian who is handling the major decisions and legal decisions for the minor.
The form should contain have some basic information. This information should include the child’s full name and address, the names and addresses of both parents, the names and addresses of the adults of the adults that will be traveling with the child, the dates of travel and destination. If the parent doesn’t want to draft up this form, it can be downloaded from the internet by a simple goggle search of Child Travel Consent Form.
A temporary Power of Attorney is suggested in types of situations where the child’s activities can be considered dangerous. Para sailing or zip lining are examples of these types of activities and due to the fact that parental consent is required a temporary Power of Attorney is recommended. A temporary Power of Attorney  must always  be notarized.
Please feel free to call Andrea’s  Mobile Notary to schedule an appointment for your travel consent notarization.

The Duties of a Notary Public

The primary job duty of a notary is to help prevent fraud. This is accomplished by witnessing the signing of documents and verifying their authenticity. Notaries public must also keep documentation of all that they’ve notarized, which is done with an embossed seal or stamp that verifies their presence at the signing of a particular document. In carrying out his or her duties, a notary must follow what is dictated in state law and also exercise subjective judgment on matters regarding  the state of mind of the signer, the signer’s comprehension of the transaction, and whether fraud or coercion are present. A journal is kept by the notary and every transaction is entered in the journal following the guidelines by the Secretary of State.

Some document transactions require that the signer make a formal declaration before a notary, thereby “acknowledging” execution (signing) of the document. In acknowledging before the notary , the signer is stating that:

• The signer understands the contents and purpose of the document;
• The signature is his/her own
• The document was signed willingly with no coercion present
Some of the types of documents  that typically require an acknowledgment are contracts, deeds, agreements, powers of attorney, etc. Documents requiring acknowledgment can be signed earlier than or at the time of notarization. Regardless the signature must clearly be an original one, written clearly and signed with an ink pen.

The  facts of a notarial act  are conveyed by completing an official statement called the “notarial certificate.” This is a very important part of the notary’s job. The notary must ensure that the  notarial certificate is always signed, and often sealed by the notary. The notarial certificate can be located in different parts of a document, however it  often appears at the end of a document or can be attached to the document as a separate sheet. The most familiar notarial certificate language reads essentially like: “Acknowledged before me by (Signer’s Name) this (date) day of (month), (year)” or “Sworn/affirmed and subscribed (signed) before me this (date) day of (month), (year). The notarial transaction can not have an errors and the seal and writing must be legible, or some entities will require the notary to be completely redone.

I hope this brief overview provides you some basic facts about the job duties of a notary!

A Day In The Life of a Notary Public

Instead of writing a typical blog regarding notary terms, I thought it would be of interest to write about a day in the life of a notary. This could be very informative to the general public and potential clients in terms of giving an overview of what a traveling  notary experiences throughout their day and the level of responsibility they carry.

Early in the morning, my phone rings with a request to do a notary that same evening at 8:30 in the Simi Valley area. The clients deadline is the next day therefore it needs to be done tonight. The nature of the documents to be notarized pertains to Estate Planning which comprises a Will, Financial Power of Attorney, General Power of Attorney, Trust, and a HIPAA Waiver and Authorization. These are very important documents. The call came to me as a referral from a  colleague who was unavailable that evening.

Several hours later I receive a phone call. The client needs a notary as s soon as possible! However, he will not be present for the notary. He needs me to download a form first and then call the client and arrange to meet him in the neighboring county. I patiently wait for his email and have to call him because I have not received it and I know he wants this done ASAP.  I call him and he then sends the email.  I run home to download the form and because it is a Registration copy-Lien satisfaction, it is secured and I spend twenty minutes before I can download it. I then call the client and arrange for the notary. He is unavailable until 5 or 6 p.m. He requests that I text him later because he will be in the air flying with no reception.  I agree to follow up then to complete the notary and call the client back to inform him that I am willing be notarizing later in the afternoon.

Two hours later the phone rings with a request for a notarization for unclaimed property.  The California State Controller’ s Office will often issue this form to notify one if they have unclaimed money in the form of a stock, money in a financial institution, uncashed  dividends or payroll checks, gift certificates etc. My client informs me that his mom is bed ridden and is concerned that I will be uncomfortable dealing with this type of situation. I inform him that I have experience with the elderly and people who are unable to travel. That is why you call Andrea’s Mobile Notary!

I arrive in the city of Chatsworth promptly. My client was pleased that I was familiar with the unclaimed property form and was comfortable and able to perform notarial services efficiently.

I then text my next client to schedule an appointment to notarize the Registration copy-Lien satisfaction form.  I head off to that appointment. The notary appointment is down an ally in a terrible neighborhood. I call the client and he is with a customer and requests that I wait.  The client is very polite and appreciative of my services and everything goes smooth. I take the notarize form with me so that I can arrange for the client to pick it up, or be prepared to meet with him to give him the document.

I am able to grab a bite to eat before my next appointment. I email my client to let him know that I have finished the notary and make arrangements for the form to be picked up. I take a much needed break and refuel my body and my car! I leave the San Fernando Valley and head off to the Ventura County area to the city of Simi Valley.

My next clients are so appreciative that I am able to accommodate their work schedule and come so late. The documents are laid out on the dining room table in an orderly and organized fashion. This is a huge plus because Estate Planning documents are very detailed and substantial. As I start the process of notarizing I see that the attorney has supplied the proper California Acknowledgements and has prefilled out the forms. I catch errors on two of the Acknowledgements that the attorney filled out. I was glad that I reviewed them with a careful eye because it would have been very easy to overlook the errors if I didn’t pay careful attention to the documents. The notary included all the typical documents that I had anticipated when dealing with Estate Planning.  It has been very helpful to me to familiarize myself with the Power of Attorney, Will, Financial Power of Attorney, General Power of Attorney, Trust, and HIPAA Waiver and Authorization forms. The notary is done in a little over an hour. My day ends at around 9:30. I am happy knowing that I helped people and provided service to them today. I also look forward to many more days of providing mobile notary service and I am proud of owning an operating Andrea’s Mobile Notary Service.




Estate Planning

Estate Planning is a topic that many people sometimes avoid or wait until the last minute to handle. The importance of organizing one’ s personal and financial affairs can’t be stressed enough. To have a systematic approach in place in case of a unexpected physical and/or mental incapacity or death occurrence is valuable during a very difficult and trying time for one’s family.

They are a number of documents that can come into play in estate planning- A Revocable Living Trust, A Pour Over Will, an Advance Medical Directive, a HIPPA Waiver, and a Financial Power of Attorney.

Revocable Living Trust will contain a detailed set of instructions covering three important periods of your life. The first being what happens while you are alive and well. Second being what happens if you become incapacitated. And third being what happens after your death. Assets, held in the name of your Revocable Living Trust at the time of your death will avoid probate.

Pour Over Will is a special type of Last Will and Testament, used only with a Revocable Living Trust. The Pour Over Will states that any of our property that has not  been funded into your Revocable Living Trust prior to your death will be funded into the trust after you die. If any of your property isn’t funded into your trust before you die, then the unfunded property will need to be probated through the use of your Pour Over Will.

An Advance Medical Directive, allows one to designate a health care agent to make medical decisions for you, if you are able to make them for yourself.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney. A Durable Financial Power of Attorney allows one to delegate to the person of your choice the ability to manage assets that are titled in your individual name, including retirement plans, and assets titled in joint names as tenants is common.

For more  detailed information on this these types of document,  please read my blog on Power of Attorney.

A  portion of this excerpt has been taken from Craig M. Scalise Estate Planning Attorney whom can be reached at 1-805-443-6800.