Power of Attorney

One of the most common mobile notary requests that I receive is for a Power of Attorney. This document is extremely important and therefore I always preface the mobile notary requests with several questions.

First, I inquire whether the signer is able to sign their name. This might seem like an odd question however many people are often ill and aging which could affect their ability to sign their name. If the individual is unable to sign their name a special type of notary must be performed which requires two witnesses. This notary is called a Signature by Mark. The signer in this situation would make some form of a mark or an x on the documents before notarization would take place.

Second, is the signer conscious and aware of what they are signing? This is important because it is the job of a notary to prevent fraud in terms of identity falsification. Another important element of the Power of Attorney is to ensure that the signer is not being coerced into to signing. The signer might be out of sorts due to surgery or medication. I also will inquire regarding the signer’s condition if they are ill or recovering from surgery.

Third, does the signer have a valid form of ID. This would be any type of ID such as a Passport, Senior Identification Card, or Driver’s License. If they do have an identification, then I inquire if the ID is current. If the ID is expired within the last five years in the state of California then it is still acceptable for the notary to use.

Lastly, there are some basic key terms that you will encounter on a Power of Attorney. The person who is giving Power of Attorney is called the Principal. The person who is receiving Power of Attorney is called the Agent.

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