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April 13, 2020

Loan Signing Systems G/B/U?

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — admin @ 9:14 am

Recently, I have seen that there are a lot more people getting certified by LSS or Loan Signing Systems run by Mark Wills. In the last few months, there seem to be many more graduates than ever before. In the old days, NNA used to be the only popular game for certification. Then the serious people came to 123notary from around 2005 to 2010. After that, Carol Ray at Notary2Pro became the most popular teacher / program for the serious students. Now, it seems that although National Notary Association sells the most courses, the more serious people seem to be following Mark.

So, what do they like about Mark? People say he is high energy, very helpful, and fast on the draw responding to questions. That is always good. At 123notary, we do not have a hotline as part of our program, but Carmen seems to do a lot of mentoring to our students. It seems to be that 1% of our customers monopolize Carmen’s time while the others don’t seek her help at all. Such a disbalance! 123notary is also there to help even though it isn’t formally part of any of our programs.

But, I wanted to see how an LSS certification affects your click average on 123notary. Would it help, hurt, or do nothing at all? I did a quick survey on several dozen listings of the same placement level and newness. Basically I found that based on my quick math, LSS graduates get about 3 or 4% more clicks from their 123notary than those in similar placements and experience without it. 123notary certification gets people more like 30% more clicks on our site at least. NNA certification neither helps nor hurts if you mention it in your notes.

So, we welcome LSS graduates to study from Notary Public 101 on our blog. It is free. Study hard and try to pass my over the phone test. I would like to see how you do.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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April 4, 2020

What documents can I notarize?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 8:52 am

What documents can I notarize?

This is written about frequently but it does require repetition given the penalties associated with it and the # of requests received for unauthorized notarizations.

WILLS – Unless prepared or directed by an attorney, wills are generally witnessed by two disinterested independent third parties.

VITAL DOCUMENTS – Birth and Death Certificates and Marriage Certificates. The Secretary of State has specific laws preventing public Notaries from notarizing vital documents primarily because the Notary cannot verify the validity or authenticity of such a document. In cases such as this, the Notary needs to refer the client over to the agency who issued the document which in many cases is the County Recorder.

INCOMPLETE DOCUMENTS – A notary should not complete any documents that are fully completed at the time of notarization.

DOCUMENTS WHERE NOTARY IS AWARE THERE IS FALSE INFORMATION IN THE DOCUMENT – If you overhear conversation between people talking about the false information contained in the document they are signing, don’t notarize it. If you suspect that the person signing appears to be overly nervous or if it looks like someone else with a beneficial interest is forcing the person to sign the document, don’t notarize it. Always remember that the signer must sign the document willingly and present proper identification and must be able to communicate with the notary.

PERSON SIGNING CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH THE NOTARY IS SPEAKING. You cannot use an interpreter because you don’t know what is being translated and if the translator has an interest in the transaction. Do not confuse this with notarizing a document in a Foreign Language. You can always notarize a foreign language document and don’t need to speak that language as long as the person signing can communicate with you in English or another common language in which both the notary and the signer can communicate.

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January 2, 2020

Recorded Documents at Loan Signings

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 7:21 am

As a notary, you will probably encounter numerous loan signings of various types. Any type of loan that uses real property as collateral will most likely have some sort of security instrument such as a Deed of Trust or Mortgage, perhaps other deeds, and other recorded documents.

Recorded documents get recorded normally at the county clerk’s office for a small fee. It is critical that your notary seal be very clear on a recorded document as the county clerk staff has the right to reject the notarization if there is any small problem with it. Below are a handful of recorded documents.

Recorded Documents:

Grant Deeds
Quit Claim Deeds
Warranty Deeds
Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Subordination Agreement
Riders to Deeds
Power of Attorney (commonly recorded)
Deed of Reconveyence
Tax Liens
Wills
Deed in Lieu
Assignments of a Deed of Trust
Declaration of Homestead
Rescission of Notice of Default.
Substitution of Trustee

On the 123notary Elite Certification test we normally test Notaries to see how fluent they are at naming recorded documents and explaining them. It is prudent to be aware of which documents are recorded so you can be more cautious when notarizing them. I also recommend thinking twice before having cross-outs on recorded Acknowledgment certificates as that looks very messy and perhaps questionable.

You might also like:

The 123notary elite certification study guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20118

What is the cleanest way to rectify an error on a certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20018

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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July 20, 2019

Father and daughter notary event

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 4:42 am

In another article I wrote about a father and daughter notary team. But, what about a father and daughter notary event? What would the activities be?

ANNOUNCER: Now, it is time for the embossing contest. Which team can emboss the most amount of pages in living wills?

GIRL: Don’t those have about 60 pages per document?

ANNOUNCER: Yes!

GIRL: I’ll try and I hope I LIVE through it otherwise I will need a living will.

ANNOUNCER: Actually then you will need a dying will.

GIRL: Oh, I’m dying to get one of those.

FATHER: Honey, I don’t think you need one of those quite yet. You just turned 18 and are only on your first commission. You won’t expire yet unless you get hit by a truck on the way to an Affidavit signing. Hey, it happens. That is why I got you a car with airbags.

GIRL: Isn’t my father great?

ANNOUNCER: Now it is time for the refill the notary stamp with ink competition. Ready, set, ink up!

GIRL: This competition is so messy. I wish I could skip it but it is such good practice. I might need to do this in real life.

FATHER: Might? You need to do it every year if you stay busy.

GIRL: I’ll stay busy. I’m on the database for 200 low-balling signing companies. If my price is low enough, they will work me into the ground and then not pay me.

FATHER: Sounds like a good long term plan… not! Make sure they pay you before you do anything more for them.

ANNOUNCER: Now it is time for the jump on the notary stamp contents. You make a giant stamp in this twenty foot long piece of paper.

FATHER: I’m so out of shape. I really need to get to the gym more.

ANNOUNCER: This is just like a gym and will get you in shape. Do jump to stamp daily and you will lose a pound a week.

GIRL: Okay, I’m jumping… how was that stamp? Oops, I bet the county recorder won’t like that one. I hate having to stand on this giant stamp.

ANNOUNCER: And the winner of the day is Jack Stampman… great name for a Notary by the way.

You might also like:

Should you include Kleenex in your notary bag?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22584

The notary apologizing game
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22576

A notary class where the students make lots of wise cracks
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22570

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April 1, 2019

Why Is It Worthwhile to Notarize a Will?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: — admin @ 8:16 am

Why Is It Worthwhile to Notarize a Will?
Notarization is also known as notarial acts. This is a three party process conducted by a notary public which includes record keeping, vetting and certifying. This is the official procedure taken to prevent fraud and also assure parties in the transaction that the document, in this case, the will being notarized is authentic. Not only the will but banking transactions documents should be notarized too.

By signing a will, one specifies how they want their property distributed after their death. This process is called probate. Whereas some states do not necessarily require notarization of wills, notarizing a will might speed up the probate speed. The question you and I might be having is, why is it worthwhile to notarize a will? Let us explore.

In most countries, a notary is carried out by a notary public who in this case acts as an eyewitness in discharging restrictive fraud activities connected to your will. There is also an act that governs such duties. He can direct oaths and witness swearing by deponents for affidavits. It is also believed that a notary can also act as an arbitrator.

Who Is Supposed To Notarize?
Notarization can be conducted by a practicing lawyer who has experience of at least 7 to 10 years. Also, an individual who has served as a judicial service member or has served under central or state government and whose position required specialized knowledge of the law is also qualified to become a notary.

Benefits of Notarizing a Will
Prevents future frauds and identity theft
George Sink urges that a notarized will help to verify that you are the one signing your will. This will help you, the owner from future frauds or identity theft in such a way that no one else can present or produce a forged will.

Notarizing your will prevents the owner from unpredictable fraud cases. This is because regardless of what the other party produces, your notarized will affirms you as the sole owner and that, can never be challenged.

Notarizing your will furthermore affirm to the fact that all the signatories are real and authentic. It also shows that genuine people signed them and that the will itself is not fabricated.

Helps Protect the rights of the will
A notarized will which has been fully certified by a notary public also aids in protecting the rights of the will. Furthermore, to avoid further and possible court proceedings, it is rather advisable for individuals to notarize their will.

Prevent court rejections
In some cases, notarizing a will is mandatory. Some lawyers argue that if you do not notarize your will, its validity in future might be questioned which might even lead to court rejections, in case there is a case and your will has to be produced. To avoid all this unfolding saga, it is advisable to notarize wills early enough.

The signatories do not necessarily have to testify in court
Another reason why notarizing your will is worthwhile is the fact that the signatories do not necessarily have to testify in court to authenticate their signatures. This saves a lot of money and time from both parties. Notarizing your will, therefore, serve as an enormous strategic advantage in the lawsuit.

Conclusion
We have discussed throughout the article what notarization is, who executes it and why is it a suitable procedure. All we can say is that notarizing your will is just a formality that should be implemented when signing your will. A notarized will assures the legal authenticity of an individual’s signature and identity whereas without doing so, a person cannot claim ownership of that particular will; therefore, notarization of a will is crucial.

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January 28, 2019

Can a Notary Act as a Witness?

Can a Notary act as a witness? Yes.
Can a notary be a witness? Yes.

However, there are many types if witnessing that a Notary could engage in.

1. Witnessing an Acknowledged signature
A notary could witness a signature as part of an Acknowledgment in certain states. Most states do not require the Notary to watch the signer sign for an Acknowledged signature, but six states do.

2. Witnessing as an official notary act
Witnessing is an official notarial act in a handful of states. Notaries can get paid a fixed maximum state mandated notary fee for witnessing a signature. Delaware Notary statutes allow this as an official act, other states do not.

3. Witnessing in their individual capacity
Witnessing a document signing as an unofficial act can be done by any person in sound mind who is eighteen years of age or older. However, many prefer to hire a Notary Public to do this in their capacity as an individual simply because people prefer to have a Notary deal with issues relating to signing documents. How much can a notary charge for being a witness? There is no set charge except perhaps in Delaware.

4. Witnessing a Will
Wills can be notarized, however, most Notaries are advised that it is not proper to notarize a will without written instructions from an Attorney. Living Wills are a different story as those function more similarly to a specialized medical power of attorney. Many people like to have a Notary be one of the two witnesses to a will signing. In Vermont I heard that they require three witnesses. For mafia signings regardless of what state it takes place in, they normally prefer — “no witnesses.”

5. Credible Witnesses / Credible Identifying Witnesses
A Notary cannot act as a credible witness if they are notarizing a document for someone. However, they can use the testimonies of one or two credible witnesses depending on the situation in most states. You can learn more about credible witnesses on our blog.

6. What is a subscribing witness?
Notaries typically use subscribing witnesses for Proof of Execution signings and Signature by X or Signature by Mark signings where the signer cannot sign their name. Subscribing means signing, so a subscribing witness is one who witnesses a person signing their name.

7. Which Notary act requires witnessing?
A Jurat requires the signer to sign in the physical presence of the Notary Public as well as swearing or affirming under Oath to the truthfulness of the content of the document in the presence of the Notary. The Notary Public should be watching when the signature is made.

8. Witnessing crimes
It is possible that a Notary might witness a crime during their work hours. It is possible they might observe someone being forced to sign under duress, or even someone being kidnapped. Notaries are often asked to go to jails to notarize criminals, but the criminal would not be in the act of a crime in jail — probably. Signers might ask the notary to falsify a date, and asking the notary to engage in fraud is a crime in itself in many states.

You might also like:

Credible Witnesses — the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19634

Subscribing witnesses explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16707

Witnessing the intake forms in Notary Heaven
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8832

Types of witnesses in the Notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5664

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October 16, 2018

A guide to notarizing documents with blanks or multiple signatures

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:04 am

Don’t notarize documents with blanks!!!
That’s the end to the guide!

Dealing with Blanks
However, the main thing to understand is that as a Notary, you have many responsibilities. You have to identify people, keep a journal, staple things together, give Oaths, fill out certificates. You are so busy, that you might not have time to scan a document for blanks. But, you need to scan every single page.

If you spot a blank, you can put a diagonal or horizontal line through it. The main thing is to make sure that no new information is added to the document after the notarization.

You can also refuse to notarize and make the signer or document custodian complete the document before submitting it to the Notary.

Notarizing Individual Pages (or not)
Additionally you cannot notarize particular pages of a document separate from the document. Sometimes a particular page needs to be fixed or changed in a document and you might get a request to notarize just that page. You simply notarize the entire document as a whole.

Multiple Signatures
However, sometimes you get a document such as a health directive which has multiple notarizations within a very long document. I have seen health directives or living wills with fifty or more pages. Sometimes at a notarization you are notarizing signatures in the middle of the document as well as at the end of the document when the certificate is at the end of the document. I have also seen cases where there are multiple signatures in the middle of a document and a certificate in the middle of the document. This is confusing. Affidavit of Support forms have Jurats in the middle of the form too, and not enough room for your stamp (dumb government workers.)

The 1003 is a great example of a document with an entire page intentionally left blank. But, that is a signed document, not a notarized document.

The main point of this quick article is to remind you that you have to scan documents for blanks.

You might also like:

Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19933

Affirmations – pleasing the politically correct while offending all others
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19606

Five things a Notary must do
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19583

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June 22, 2018

How do you get a Power of Attorney Document?

I run a Notary directory, and people who hire Notaries often have Power of Attorney documents of various descriptions. It is important to understand that not all Power of Attorney documents were created equal and there are legal standards as well as preferences of the document custodians that need to be taken into consideration.

Legal Considerations
Legally, you probably need to consult an Attorney to figure out what rights to grant to another person (grantee) and under what circumstances and what legal language to grant such powers. I cannot assist with this because I am not an Attorney, and even if I were, I would probably not be practicing in your state.

Document Custodian Considerations
Document custodians are another party that you have to please with Powers of Attorney. A document custodian is the party that accepts your document. For example, if you get a POA for a particular bank, they will want a Banking Power of Attorney done their way which often means using their forms and not some form you got at a stationary store that looks equally good to you. The custodian has the right to choose what type of form they want in many instances.

Recording Documents
I am not an Attorney and do not know if/when/how/why Power of Attorney forms are recorded at your county’s county recorder. But, find out if you need to record it in their files ahead of time. There is normally a fee for this and it involves a visit to a government office, standing in line, not knowing what room to go to, etc.

Types of Powers of Attorney.
There are Medical Powers of Attorney, Durable Powers of Attorney where you can switch powers on an off sometimes, Banking Power of Attorney documents, and Limited Powers of Attorney as well. Living Wills are yet another specialized type of Medical Power of Attorney that deal specifically with what happens if the Grantor becomes incapacitated or is unable to make their own decisions while bedridden, etc.

Drafting of Documents
Normally, it is a good idea to consult with an Attorney before creating a Power of Attorney. Since it is a legal document, you cannot have any old person draft it for you. It should be an Attorney, or someone legally authorized to draft documents which rules out most Notary Public practitioners. Banks normally use their own forms, so ask the bank what form they require. Additionally, there are legal support firms who employ Legal Assistants, Paralegals, and a few who outsource low paying legal work to New Delhi where they do a very good job at a third of the cost. You can ask these types of agencies what they recommend and who is authorized to draft your document. Your best bet however, is an Attorney if you can afford it. Even if the Attorney doesn’t draft the document him/herself, at least he/she is supervising and taking responsibility for it which makes it potentially a lot safer for you to get a quality output.

Notarizing Documents
Any commissioned Notary Public can notarize your document in their state of commission. Please do not expect or ask the Notary to explain or understand any legal document. Non-Attorney Notaries may not give specific interpretations or explanations of documents other than general statements (in certain states) about what the document is generally about with no specifics mentioned. The Notary’s job is simply to check your ID, make sure you signed the document, the journal (required in most states, recommended by us in any state as that is your only written evidence of the notarial transaction), and fill out certificate forms that correspond to your document.

Legal Technical Terms
If you are creating a Power of Attorney, there is a lot of legalese which an Attorney can help you understand. The main terms are:

Grantor — the person giving power to another
Grantee — the person receiving special powers from the document
Agent — another name for the person who receives power and can complete tasks for the Grantor.
Principal — the main person signing the document who is the Grantor by definition.
Attorney in Fact — the most commonly used term for the agent / person receiving power of attorney.
Capacity — If you have special powers or a special position in a company, that can be described as a capacity. Being an Attorney in Fact or AIF is considered a capacity that can be indicated on certain Notary forms.

Signing in your capacity as Attorney in Fact.
There are eight ways that I have seen to sign as an Attorney in Fact. Please be advised that the particular verbiage is very particular and can be decided by an Attorney or document custodian. If they want it one way, and you sign with even one comma out of place, the entire document might be rejected and need to be resigned. Here are some common ways to sign, but ask your contact person before you sign anything, as the verbiage does matter.

John Smith, as Attorney in Fact for Sally Smith
Sally Smith, by John Smith, her Attorney in Fact
John Smith, POA for Sally Smith
John Smith, AIF for Sally Smith

Summary
In some of these variations, the signer signs the name of the other person (which I am not comfortable with) and then describes their capacity. In other variations, you sign your own name, and then indicate your capacity after a comma after your name. As always, I cannot and will not give legal advice, so, ask an Attorney before you have a Power of Attorney drafted, and before you sign the document and before you sign in your capacity as Attorney in Fact.

If you need a Mobile Notary Public, visit the advanced search page of 123notary.com and lookup by zip, city or county and find about 7000 Notaries Public nationwide, many of whom are very knowledgeable and experienced.

Good luck!

.

You might also like:

Index of posts about Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20255

Power of Attorney of the Future
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18948

Logic errors can cost you as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20110

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April 25, 2018

Preparing to Sign a Last Will and Testament

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers,Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:11 am

Preparing to Sign a Last Will and Testament

One of the most important documents that a person signs during the course of a lifetime is his or her last will and testament. Of course, ensuring that a last will and testament is drafted properly is crucial. However, ensuring that a last will and testament is valid does not end when the instrument has been written. The manner in which the document is signed is vital to its ultimate validity.

State Laws Govern Drafting and Signing a Last Will and Testament

Each individual state has its own laws as they pertain to the drafting and signing of a last will and testament. With that said, many states utilize a derivation of what is known as the Uniform Probate Code. In other words, although there are some minor differences from one state to another when it comes to a will, there is a great deal of commonality in the laws about wills across the United States.

In order to make certain that a last will and testament is appropriately drafted and properly executed, a person does need to check the specific laws of the state in which the will is signed. This is the only way in which compliance with the law can be confirmed.

The Role of a Notary Public at a Will Signing

A notary public plays a pivotal role in the execution or signing of a last will and testament. One of the power bestowed upon a notary public is the ability to administer oaths and confirm information in certain situations. For example, at the time of the signing of a last will and testament, a notary public is charged with confirming a number of factors before a person signs the instrument.

First, a notary public is required to confirm that the person about to sign his or her last will and testament understands what is contained in the instrument. A notary public doesn’t quiz the signer on the contents of the instrument. Rather, a notary public requires the signer to affirm that he or she has read the instrument and understands its contents.

Second, a notary public must concern that based on his or her reading of a last will and testament that the instrument does what the signer intends. In other words, the signer must affirm that the last will and testament deals with matters associated with his or her estate in the manner in which he or she intents and desires.

Third, a notary must ascertain that the signer of a last will and testament is of sound mind and body at the time of the execution of the instrument.

Finally, when the person signing a last will and testament executes the document, a notary public verifies the signature and affixes the seal of his or her office to the instrument.

Witnesses at a Will Signing

The laws of all states mandate that witnesses be present at the execution of a last will and testament. The laws do differ as to how many witnesses must be on hand at the signing of a last will and testament.

The witnesses are present to confirm that the person executing a last will and testament understands what he or she is doing, that he or she is signing the will as a free and voluntary act, and that the signer is of sound mind and body.

The witnesses can end up playing a pivotal role should the day ever come that a last will and testament is being challenged in some manner. For example, the witnesses might be called upon to testify in court if a challenge is made to the will after the signer of the instrument dies. The witnesses might be called upon to testify that the signer was of sound mind and body when the last will and testament was executed.

At the time of the execution of a last will and testament, a notary ensures that the witnesses understand their roles. The witnesses sign the instrument, after the signer of the will itself completes that task. A notary typically verifies the signatures of the witnesses to the last will and testament as well.

Generally speaking, a last will and testament usually is signed in the office of the attorney that drafted the instrument in the first instance. More often than not, the attorney will have a notary public available from his or her own staff. There are rare situations in which a notary public is called in from the outside to witness and notarize the signing of a last will and testament.

 
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

You might also like:

Why is it worthwhile to notarize a Will?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22482

Witnessing a Will
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21361

Can a Notary notarize a Will or Living Will?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7088

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April 4, 2018

Documents you need to understand for Elite Certification

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:50 am

I published a study guide for our Elite Certification. There are a handful of documents you need to understand and be able to answer questions about. Here they are.

Recorded Documents
How many recorded documents can you name? I can think of a few…

Grant Deeds
Quit Claim Deeds
Warranty Deeds
Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Subordination Agreement
Riders to Deeds
Power of Attorney (not sure about this one)
Deed of Reconveyence
Tax Liens
Wills
Deed in Lieu
Assignments of a Deed of Trust
Declaration of Homestead
Rescission of Notice of Default.
Substitution of Trustee

Riders
How many riders can you name? I can think of these ones
Prepayment Rider
Family Rider
Condominium Rider
Rider to Mortgage
Rider to the Note
Adjustable Rate Riders
Co-op Rider

Subordination Agreement
The subordination agreement creates a pecking order for which lender gets paid first should there be a default.

Owner’s Affidavit
This document discusses many aspects of ownership and often addresses whether the owner will reside in the property as well as whether or not the owner has conducted particular maintenance tasks on the property.

Deed of Reconveyance
The main point we want you to know about this document is that it deals with Trustees, and the Lender is most commonly the one who signs this document as a Trustee, although in theory it could be any party.

Deed of Trust
You need to know the Deed of Trust intimately to pass the Elite Test. Please study this on your own.

CD & HUD-1
You need to be able to recite many particular points about these documents to pass the Elite Test. Please study on your own.

.

You might also like:

Index of information about Documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

Elite certification will benefit you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

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