Thursday, April 1, 2010

Notary Error and Ommissions or Not

A respected west coast lawyer was busily signing several documents and the very able and competent notary was busily notarizing documents and was with him notarizing documents he presented to her. Unfortunately, one document was not presented to her for notarizing. When the lawyer left for an international trip, his very competent lawyer daughter discovered the document was not notarized . She transmitted the document to me with detailed instructions and emailed her father's cell phone. I met him at Dulles Airport and notarized the three documents and sent them via Fedex to the west coast. The west coast notary can not faulted since the documents were not presented to her for notarization.
Once a document is presented to a notary, the notary is responsible for quickly looking for blanks. An 80 year old lady presented a will to me which had many blanks. When I pointed the blanks out to her, she told me this was the wrong document; she filled in the blanks on the right document. She located the correct document and the will was notarized. Besides checking the government photo id, the notary needs to make sure all the elements of the notary certificate are compete and on the same page as the signer's signature. If the certificate is on a second page,I have the person sign the second page and add a notary certificate to the page they signed first. This is best practice and avoids the issue of losing the second page which has the notary certificate. On client said they appeared before a notary and allege the notary did not return the second page with the notary certificate. They went on to allege that the notary denied notarizing the will. I notarized the document. This was a strange case.!!!!!