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June 13, 2017

Putting jails & hospitals in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:55 am

Analyzing notes sections is hard. If I compare clicks from various listings one has to consider their notes, reviews, placement, certifications, hours, and more. I am not comparing apples to apples which is why I have to look at a lot of profiles and make a lot of comparisons. But, here is what I found out about mentioning jails and hospitals in your notes section.

Jail
Adding information that specifies that you travel to jails can get your listing roughly 35% more clicks. Very few Notaries have experience going to jails and even fewer mention it at the top of their notes section. This was based on averaging 12 stats of Notaries who serviced jails and several dozen notaries in the same metros with similar listings who did not.

Hospitals
Adding information about how you travel to hospitals can get you about 37% more clicks.

Hospitals & Jails
If you do both hospitals and jails it still gets you about 35% more clicks on average.

What else matters?
I noticed that in listings with well written notes sections that were chock full of useful information, mentioning hospitals and jails got them 40% or more clicks than other Notaries with similar listings in the same area. However, Notaries with stripped down notes sections with limited information that mentioned hospitals and/or jails got only about 10% more clicks than those that didn’t. So, you need to consider how good the TOP of your notes section is as a whole. If you look on the search results page for your area, you will see how much of your notes section shows up and how informative it is. If you ramble about inconsequential details or leave your notes blank or with a one liner you will lose clicks. But, if you cram in as much information in a space efficient way as possible, you might be surprised at how well you do.

And by the way, not putting jails & hospitals in your notes section might end your notes section up in jail… or in the hospital due to low click ratios.

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January 28, 2011

A tale of four notaries in hospitals

 A tale of four notaries and their adventures at hospitals.
 
Hospital notarizations are very tricky and there is a lot that can go wrong. We have several resource pages regarding hospital notarizations to steer notaries away from pitfalls.  The characters in this story are NOT based on real characters, but each one of them has either a single attitude or attribute that is similar to a real person that I am acquainted with.  This silly story will show how each notary fared and how their way of thinking worked in the long run.  The various notaries include an Arkansas notary, an Illinois notary, a Florida notary, and a Pennsylvania notary public.
 
(1) Jeremy Blunt, a notary in Arkansas was called to do a hospital notarization in Little Rock on the following day.  Jeremy, with his blunt, but thorough manner told them, “Make sure to tell the nurses not to drug the patient within eight hours of the signing.”.  The caregiver, who was happy to have a thorough notary, overlooked Jeremy’s blunt manner and was very willing to coordinate a temporary lapse in morphine, so that the signer (an elderly relative) would be able to sign the papers.  Jeremy called an hour before the signing to have the caregiver read the ID information to him, and had the caregiver verify that the signer had not been drugged recently, was awake and able to conversate, and wouldn’t be drugged until after the notarization, and that the nurses had been informed.  The caregiver was standing next to the bedridden signer to MAKE SURE that no intravenus drugs were given.
 
Jeremy arrives at the signing with his notary bag, records the ID in his journal, gets a signature in his journal and the document(s), fills out the certificate form(s), stamps them, affixes his official Arkansas notary seal, staples the documents together, and is done.  Jeremy gets his fee, thanks everyone in a very blunt way, and leaves.  The signers say, “That Jeremy gets the job done — he’s a bit blunt, but polite, and he saved our rear ends big time!!!  That OTHER notary let us down.  Thank god for good notaries!”
 
(2) Linda Liberty, a notary in Illinois was called to do a hospital notarization in Chicago the following day.  Since she had a strict policy of not butting into anyone’s medical business, not asking questions, and minding her own business, she omitted to ask the caregiver if the signer was on medication.  After, all thats NONE OF MY BUSINESS!  The next day, she gets to the hospital, the caregiver says, “Thank you for coming”.  Linda politely says, “Its my pleasure to serve the public wholeheartedly”.  Linda goes to the hospital room where the patient / signer is.  The patient is high on morphine and in a stupor, barely able to keep his eyes open. Linda says, “Sorry, but according to Illinois notary laws, I am not authorized to notarize someone who is not capable of thinking or communicating coherently.  I can not notarize this person in this condition, ID or no ID.  The caregiver (the daughter of the signer) said, gee, thats too bad.  Linda says, my travel fee is $60 for hospitals please.  The daughter says, “BUT, YOU DIDN”T DO ANYTHING”.  Linda Liberty says, “Excuse me, but I drove an hour and a half here in traffic, paid a toll for the bridge, sat here talking to you for twenty minutes, paid $15 for gas, and have an hour drive home. I did quite a bit and I want to get paid!!!”  The daughter said, sorry, but we can not pay you.  We are very sorry.
 
(3) Ralph Machiavelli, a notary in Florida (no relation to Niccolo… at least not by blood), got a call to do a signing of a power of attorney in a hospital in Tampa.  The power of attorney would be for the signer’s son in law to take over all of his banking and real estate transactions. Ralph had lots of experience and thought ahead.  This Florida notary public had had his fingers burned a few times and knew the techniques for keeping out of trouble and getting paid.  Ralph told the client that he collects a $75 travel fee at the door BEFORE he sees the signer.  He, then charges $10 per for stamp for an acknowledged signature which is the maximum allowed fee in Florida.  The son in law of the signer agreed, and they set the appointment for the next day at 10am.
 
Ralph gets to the appointment.  Collects his travel fee in CASH, and says, “Thank you very much”.  Lets see the signer now.  The two of them proceed to walk down the long corridor, around some bends, up an elevator, down another corridor, past a nurse station, to the left, to the right, and then into a room.  They found the signer was drugged, sleeping, and in no condition to sign or even talk.  The son in law tried to wake the signer up.  The signer eventually woke up after twenty minutes of blinking and saying, “mmmmmmm?”.   Ralph said, can you ask dad to sign this form?  The son in law said, I’ll try.  After twenty additional minutes of wasting time (a result of the medication), the son in law said, its no use, they drugged him this morning.  Maybe I have my $75 back?  Ralph says, “I’m sorry, but in addition to traveling, I spent forty minutes here waiting for your signer to sign something.  This was a complete waste of time.  Next time please make sure your dad is ready to sign at the appointed time. That means…. NO DRUGS”.  Ralph returns home with his money.  He pleasures himself with a nice baby back rib dinner, and then returns home.
 
(4) Sharisse Washington, Pennsylvania Notary Public at large, doesn’t stand for this type of nonsense or bluntness that happened in the above three stories.  She has thirty years of experience, and carries a handheld database of how to handle each situation with all its variations and pitfalls.  Sharisse minds her p’s and q’s, dots her i’s and crosses her t’s.  She informs everybody in a polite way, and doesn’t put herself in a position that anything will go wrong either.   This notary in Pennsylvania gets a call to go to a Philadelphia hospital to do a notarization the next day.  She politely asks the client if they have an ID for the signer.  She asks if they could read the ID to her, so that she can verify that they have the ID, and that its current.  She asks if the patient EVER recieves medication or is likely to receive it during the day of the signing. She asks if its possible that they could provide a “WINDOW OF TIME”, where they could be sure that the signer wasn’t going to be drugged.  She asks what the name and type of the document is.  She asks if it is in their possession and if they can read the document to her (so, she can verify that they really have it).  After she asks all of the questions on her database’s check list, the cordially thanks the client for answering her questions and assures them that she will be at the hospital lobby at 10am the following day. 
 
This Pennsylvania Notary calls at 9am to verify that they have the identification handy and that the signer is not drugged. Sharisse shows up at the hospital at 9:55 just to be on the safe side.  The client is there, thanks her for being early.  They go up to the room.  The signer is awake, sober, and conversational.  The signer signs the document and journal. Its a bit if a struggle being old and being weak, but the signer does it… because she is sober and awake… and sober…not drugged.   Sharisse does all of the remaining necessary paperwork, thanks everybody, collects her fee, and is off to her next appointment which she allowed a sufficient amount of time to get to.
 
Now that you have read how each of these four notaries handled a hospital job, its up to you to decide how you want to handle this type of job. Remember, that hospital and jail notary jobs and many more potential pitfalls and things that can go wrong than a regular office or home notary job.  Do your homework, be polite and stay out of trouble, and that way, you will be able to make a living. Otherwise, it is you who will be sorry.

You might also like:

Power of Attorney in a nursing home
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2305

Do you like your job? A story of being kept waiting forever at a hospital.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=617

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October 5, 2019

Hospital signing in reverse. The Notary was bedridden

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — admin @ 11:20 pm

A Notary had to go to the hospital for a hernia. He was in pain and drugged part of the time. But, he had a thriving business. and his customers would come to see him in the hospital.

CUSTOMER: Hi, I need this Affidavit notarized. I’ll sign it right here. You’re paying attention right?

NOTARY: (nodding off) ummm.

CUSTOMER: You are paying attention right?

NOTARY: Oh yeah..

CUSTOMER: (signs the document) Can you fill out the Jurat and sign it here?

NOTARY: I am not myself today. I might need to do a signature by X

CUSTOMER: According to what you told me last time only elderly customers can do a signature by mark or X.

NOTARY: Just kidding. Let me just fill this out… okay. Now, do you solmenly swear to uphold the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic?

CUSTOMER: When you say domestic, does that include Consuela my maid? she is foreign AND a domestic.

NOTARY: You just have to make things complicated.

CUSTOMER: And that Oath has nothing to do with my document. That is the morphene talking, right?

NOTARY: I was just testing you. I’m actually sober, believe it or not. That’s why I’m being so mean. When my father arranged my marriage to Maria he said, “And he’ll beat you constantly — but only when he’s sober which is very little of the time.”

CUSTOMER: How reassuring. Okay, my Oath please? Never mind. I solemnly swear under God that the contents of this document are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

NOTARY: I hereby affix my stamp. I gotta get out of here. I don’t want to be late to the straight pride parade in Boston of all places. Don’t you just love people from Boston — how refreshing — standing up for traditional values.

CUSTOMER: Yes, I find them refreshing, especially when they call people a “fricking retahd.”

NOTARY: Me too – gotta love it. I pronounce you man and document.

CUSTOMER: I am going to pass on kissing the document.

NOTARY: That will make you more popular in Boston as a result.

You might also like:

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20519

A tale of four notaries at hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

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July 9, 2019

A list of things you probably did not add to your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: , — admin @ 3:08 am

Every Notary profile has a notes section, but Notaries are notoriously sloppy about what they add to their notes section unless they are very seasoned Notaries. So, I compiled a quick list of things you need to add.

1. Uniqueness – What is unique about your service? Do you speak another language, go to hospitals, have an advanced degree, or are Fidelity approved? These things should go up top so that people can see this on the search results. The top of your notes section once again does show up on the search results.

2. Loan Types – What types of loans are you experienced with? Just saying that you do them all doesn’t say much. It is better to make a thoughtful list of the loan types and types of documents that you have signed before.

3. Equipment – Do you have a particular type of printer, scanner, fax, or a mobile office? Make sure to share that with the world.

4. Other Information – Do you have E&O insurance, how much? Are you certified by any particular agency? Are you background screened and by whom?

5. Coverage Areas: How many miles is your radius? What particular counties do you cover? Make it easy. If there are too many if-then statements about you only go to Horry County on an empty stomach if it is before 8pm, unless it is Summer in which case perhaps 8:30pm but only if you feel like it… That is too complicated. Just say you go to Horry County.

6. About You – It is hard for most Notaries to write about themselves. The tendency is to reduce yourself to some cliche adjectives that are identical to have 10,000 other notaries would describe themselves. Avoid this and paint a realistic picture of your style of doing work, about you, your professional background and what is unique to you.

7. Minimums – Some Notaries have a minimum of $100 plus eDocuments. If you stick to particular prices and are not wishy-washy, then publish them in your notes section. That way your calls are pre-filtered. But, if on Monday your minimum is $100, and then on Tuesday you are desperate and lower it to $80, then keep it verbal.

8. Professional backgrounds – Don’t be vague and say you worked in the financial industry. Say what positions you held and what types of work you did. People want specifics not vagueness. Don’t say you worked in the legal industry otherwise we will think you were the window washer at Hartman, Smith, and Stone.

9. A catchy phrase – Most Notaries do not bother to put a catchy one liner in their notes. It might take hours to think of. Good business names are equally hard to think of. People who search for Notaries are bored reading boring notes sections. If you can make up something interesting and catchy to say, you will inspire people to call you. If you are serious about the business, it is worth your time.

10. Organization tips – Don’t write a notes section that is a jumble. Keep each section well organized and separated by a line of space. It is easier to read and more pleasant too. Please remember that those reading your profile read hundreds of profiles and will be more likely to use you if you come across as being organized.

You might also like:

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

2014 Excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

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March 25, 2019

What makes a p#10 preferential listing do well on 123notary?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , — admin @ 9:51 am

Many people purchase preferential listings from us. They are cost effective and a great way to start out. But, some of these listings do well while others do not. Why?

Test Scores
Preferential listings are all subjected to Jeremy’s quiz (which nobody likes except for a few nerdy Notaries.) I used to do the test by phone, but this caused too much stress to all parties involved. So, now I do it by email which tests not only knowledge, but how fast you answer emails — if at all. Notaries who did well with preferential listings typically had above average test scores, but did not have high test scores — you could say the average score was mediocre plus. Average unfortunately is failing these days with the lack of emphasis on education. Preferential listings that did not do well typically did not respond to my quiz email or failed. So, yes, education and skill still matters and if you think you can succeed by winging it because nobody cares — you are wrong!

Reviews
The average preferential listing that got above average clicks had an average of about four reviews compared to zero or one with the unsuccessful listings. So, you do not need dozens of reviews, but you need a new one once every six months or so to do well.

Experience
People who hire Notaries want experience. But, Notaries sometimes lie about their experience. The preferential listings that performed well typically showed about 4000 loans signed compared to an average of 1500 for the less popular listings. So, having a lot of experience is not enough. You need more than a lot. FYI, the highest placed listings needed more like 6000 loans to do well because it is more competitive at the top. To get more experience, you need to say yes more, and work for people who are not that nice, and micromanage too much and don’t pay well. In the long run, your experience and knowledge is your gold. So study and get more jobs under your belt.

24/7 and Owl Icons
Preferential listings that do well offer late night service more times than not. Offering convenience helps a lot.

Notes
Preferential listings that did well typically have a well written notes section. Those that don’t perform well half the time don’t have a good notes section or any notes section. What you say about yourself and how you say it matters more than you think. Pay more attention to your notes section.

Summary
If you want a quick way to make your preferential listing do better, study from Notary Public 101 on our blog (which is free and very popular), ask people you have worked for for reviews and email them a link to your review page. Write a better notes section and ask for help if you need any. Additionally, consider offering service until 10:30pm so you can get an owl icon. Offering a more expansive list of specialties including hospitals, jails, and more types of loans not to mention last minute service can really help too. There are many things you can do to boost your business within 30 days. Why not do all of those things?

You might also like:

Title companies use the top 3 on 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21282

How does pricing work for top listings on 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19355

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March 24, 2019

A list of things you probably forgot to put in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: , — admin @ 4:34 am

Most Notaries write a notes section for their listing on 123notary. However, many do not know what to write. Here are some things you should write about. Take this as a check list.

Experience
Write about the types of loans or documents you know how to sign. Write about the type of work you did before you were a Notary or what distinguishes your experience as a notary. How many loans as well as how many years would also help the reader get an idea of what type of experience you have. Read more by clicking the link below…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19052

Additional Information
Your certifications, courses taken, E&O, background screening, etc., Don’t forget to write about this because people do care.

Equipment
If you have special equipment, portable printers, scanners, fax machines, inverters, etc., people want to read about this. But, don’t put it up top as this is supplemental information. Experience and selling features go up top.

Special Skills
Are you bilingual? Do you visit hospitals or jails? How about a wide radius? Are you on the white glove list somewhere? Do you take credit cares or square? Put this up top as it is a selling feature.

Areas Covered
Your radius, counties or cities covered go at the bottom and there are 12 boxes to put your counties covered which includes your home county. We discourage putting zip codes as the list gets very long and messy and nobody wants to read it.

About You
This is the most misunderstood aspect of notes writing. Most people cannot write about themselves other than a long string of adjectives. Any idiot can write about how responsible and reliable they are and the more they claim these adjectives the less true I find them to be. However, describing yourself with specific facts is more helpful as well as credible. The fact you have an MBA, worked with the elderly at a nursing home for ten years or are ex-military are real facts about you. The fact you triple check your work and have your local FedEx stations memorized is fact vs. fluff.

Catchy Phrases
It is hard for most people to write a catchy phrase, but it can really pay off. People are bored with reading 1000 notes sections that all seem very similar. It sometimes looks like the same person wrote all of the notes sections on Notary Rotary… “I am reliable, background screened and have 50,000 E&O. I have signed many loans and do a lot of refinances.” After you see this a few thousand times you start seeing double. Put something unique and organized for a change. We wrote a few articles (that I linked below) on catchy phrases in notes sections and you should read those.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14690

Buzzwords to avoid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19054

You might also like:
Examples of great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18862

How to write a notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

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December 18, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Getting Work

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 2:51 am

Chapter 4. Getting Work
Return to table of contents – Beginner Notaries 103

Being a newer Notary, you have to get new contacts, learn new things, and work for whomever will take you. It is typical that you will be micromanaged, have to do a lot of faxing back, get paid poorly or in some cases not at all. This sounds like a horrible ordeal, but it is good because by paying your dues you will get experience. Any Notary who has succeeded had to pay their dues. Some paid more dues than others while a few with good legal contacts avoided the whole low-ball experience.

You need to call the companies who you signed up with regularly. Remind them that you exist and are ready to jump night or day. You can call signing companies, title companies, Attorneys offices, bail bonds offices, hospitals or anyone who needs a Notary. Let them know you are ready to work. You should mention you are a mobile notary on your facebook profile too because you never know who is reading it.

You should have a business card that you can give to your clients, their coworkers, family members, secretaries, etc. Repeat business is a big factor.

You can find signing companies on the signing company lists on 123notary and Notary Rotary. On 123notary our list is free to the public. On Notary Rotary you might need to be a member to see a lot of their information.

Knowing who to contact is half of the battle. The most important factor of getting work is being hungry and ready to please. Those who contact companies and brag about how smart they are are annoying. But, those who are ready to jump, answer the phone at all hours, and never complain are the ones who get jobs. Companies need you to get them out of a bind. If you are always their hero, you will get jobs. If you are always busy, tired, or unresponsive, you might not get jobs.

Once you get jobs, make sure to answer emails promptly and answer phone messages. If you keep people waiting for inquiries, or after service you will not get rehired.

Here is a list of companies that will hire new signers. But, the list was published a few years ago, and things have changed. These companies may or may not even still be in business.

Companies that will hire NEW signers!

Here is our general list of signing companies with reviews
http://www.123notary.com/signco.asp

Visit our forum where you can read about signing companies and more
http://www.123notary.com/forum/default.asp

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November 21, 2018

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations

SAFETY TIPS AND 12 QUESTIONS TO ASK FOR HOSPITAL NOTARIZATIONS:
I get calls frequently for Notarizations in Jails and Hospitals.
This blog will focus on things you must do to protect yourself from lawsuits and damages when you get a desperate call to go out to a hospital to notarize documents to be signed by a patient, moistly a Power of Attorney. The phone call invariably comes from the child who has a parent admitted to the hospital.
What do you do as the Notary when the person calling says they will pay you whatever you charge as your mobile fee? Remember Rule #1: It is not always about the money. It is about your ability to follow the Notary laws and perform your job without taking short cuts.
The following list of questions is a short summary of the steps I have actually taken when I got such a call.

1. What is your relationship to the patient?
2. Do you have any other siblings or relatives who have a beneficial interest in the transaction?
3. Is the patient conscious? Coherent? On any medication?
4. Does the patient have a current valid ID with him or can you make it available when the notary arrives at the hospital?
5. Is the patient able to sign his name without any help?
6. Does the patient speak English and can he understand and answer simple questions coherently?
7. Does the patient have an attending physician and a Nurse assigned to him?
8. Do you have the number to the attending physician and nurse because I need to talk to them to get an accurate idea of the health and overall condition of the patient?
9. When can I talk to the patient directly by phone with a nurse present in the room?
10. What type of document are you having notarized?
11. What dates and times work for the patient?
12. My mobile fees are _____ and $15/signature notarized. After I get there if I make the determination that the person is unable to understand anything I ask him or is being forced to sign, I will not be able to notarize the document but will still charge you my mobile fee for coming out based on your representations over the phone. Are you okay with that because I don’t want to get into any arguments after I get there?

Believe me there has been more than one occasion I can recall where I had to leave without notarizing a document because the patient was unable to understand anything I asked, was incoherent and simply could not sign or even hold a pen to just mark an “X”. It is better to walk away from a Notarization where you know instinctively that it is wrong because the signer is not aware of what he is signing and inevitably you will end up being a party to a litigation by interested parties who believe that the Notary failed to take into account the coherence and soundness of mind of the signer at the time of the Notarization. This would invalidate your notarization and worse yet force you to pay legal expenses to defend yourself. Is it worth it? Absolutely not!

.

You might also like:

The carrot, the stick, the notary, and the bag
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3951

When to ask for ID over the phone & fees at the door
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15282

A tale of four notaries at hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

Hospital Notary jobs from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76

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August 3, 2018

Notary Public 101 — Scenarios: Hospital signing issues

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 6:48 am

Have you ever done a signing in a hospital? You should be prepared, because one day you might do it. There are many issues that come up in hospital signings. First of all, it is common to have to decline service because the signer has been medicated, or has lost their mind. As a Notary, you should be aware that you can easily be subpoenaed for hospital signings as it is common for people to not remember what they signed and for people to try to take advantage, so be cautious.

As a Notary you need to be able to gauge the situation over the phone before you commit to coming, and once again gauge the situation once you are in front of the signers. The person who calls you to come to the hospital is almost never the signer, but usually a family member, Attorney, or scam artist.

Confirming the appointment.
Have your contact person read the name as it appears on the ID, and the expiration date (the expiration date of the card, or the patient, whichever comes first). Then, have the contact person read how the name appears on the document. Not only are you checking if names match, but if they even have an ID, know where it is, and have their document all ready. Confirm that they will not be medicated before you come and make sure the nurses know that the notary job is off if they medicate at all.

Once at the appointment.
Get travel fees at the door. Otherwise you will have a beneficial interest (in my opinion) in having the document signed. When you meet the signer, you can ask them questions about the document being signed. Don’t ask yes/no questions. Ask questions that make them explain the document to you. You can also make small talk about how you love what President Clinton did yesterday. If they are on the ball, they will know that President Clinton is no longer in office. You need effective ways to screen out people on morphine and those who have lost their mind. You should also ask if they have been medicated in the last twelve hours.

Comments
It is not your job to decide who gets morphine and when. However, if a signer does get medicated, let the contact person know that you will walk off with their travel fee as you do not dare notarize a medicated person who is not fully conscious, especially on a Power of Attorney.

.

You might also like:

A tale of four notaries in hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

Putting jails & hospitals in your profile’s notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19266

Power of Attorney in a nursing home
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2305

Do you like your job? A story of being kept waiting forever at a hospital.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=617

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May 20, 2018

Tips for avoiding liability with the elderly

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — Tags: — admin @ 9:37 am

Elder Notarizations

If you are a Mobile Notary, you will undoubtedly get calls from people in hospitals, convalescent homes, and jails. The problem with jail signings used to be lock downs and the lack of an acceptable ID. I’m not sure if ID rules have changed or jail practices have changed in the mean time because I keep hearing rumors that there is some formal jail ID card now.

But, the problem with elder notary hospital signings are different. Here are my points and recommendations for notarizing the elderly and bed-ridden.

1. Read the ID over the phone
Not all elderly people have an ID, and not all have a current identification. Have someone read the identification information and expiration date to you over the phone. That way you will know that they:
(a) Have an ID
(b) Can find the ID
(c) That it reads a name that proves the name on the document (which should already have been drafted)
(d) That the identification for notary work has not expired.

2. Ask if the signer will be drugged within several hours of the notarization.
If the signer is not sober, you should decline to notarize, and let the family of the hospitalized person know that your travel fee is paid in cash at the door. If you feel for any reason that it is not prudent to notarize the signer, that you will walk out for reasons pertaining to legal liability. Here are some reasons to decline service.

(a) The signer is sleeping

(b) The signer communicates incoherently or in a tone you cannot clearly understand.

(c) The signer cannot orally summarize the document in a way that makes you feel sure they understand what they are signing.

(d) The signer has been drugged recently perhaps with morphine.

(e) The signer cannot sign their name. If you know how to do a signature by X procedure that might be a substitute, but check your state laws and procedures before doing a signature by Mark or X.

(f) The signer cannot sit up or move their arm to sign.

If there is a problem with a hospital notarization, it is better to find out before you get in your car. Have the family communicate with the signer, have the signer practice signing a blank piece of paper with the family before you commit to an appointment. There is a lot that can go wrong, so try to anticipate common problems and solve them before you drive over.

3. Legal liability
If you notarize for a person who is bed-ridden, the chances of the transaction ending up in court are at least twenty times as high as for loan signings, so you should charge a lot more for hospital notarizations due to the unseen costs of doing business, not to mention the waiting time and other inconveniences. If you are a sloppy Notary, I would suggest not doing hospital notarizations at all as they will come back to you and your sloppily kept or not kept journal will be the only thing that will save you or not save you in court. Here are some things that can go wrong at hospital notary jobs that can get you in trouble.

(a) The signer claims that they were tricked into signing something that gave their money away.

(b) The signer may be conscious when you are doing the signing, but afterwards might not remember signing something.

(c) Someone might investigate and question whether the signer really signed the document or really knew what they were doing.

(d) Someone might questions the identity of the person who actually signed. That is why I kept thumbprints. However thumbprints for the elderly often are like tires with no tread which makes them hard to differentiate.

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You might also like:

When to ask for ID over the phone & fees at the door
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15282

A tale of 4 notaries at hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

Do you like your job? A story of being kept waiting forever at a hospital.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=617

Hospital Notary job tips from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76

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