Power of Attorney « Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com
123Notary

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

August 26, 2014

The 3AM Notary Service “Shopper”

The 3AM Notary Service “Shopper”
Having the 24 Hour designation carries the responsibility to live up to the claim. You must answer the phone when it rings at all times. That usually requires the cell phone to be bedside in its charger. But how do you handle the 3AM caller? Obviously a rude and surely response is very inappropriate. YOU gave them permission to call at all hours. If you don’t want those calls, don’t claim to be a 24 hour notary.

Most of my wee hour calls are genuine emergencies. It’s very common for applicants for many municipal jobs to need their “profile” notarized. Many notice this late, very late. They have to have their application notarized for a 6AM interview. I also often receive Power of Attorney signing requests at hospitals, surgery will be in the early AM; and a Power of Attorney is needed ASAP. Also common are the permission forms for one parent to take the child out of the country; notarized permission from the non-flying parent is required. The list goes on and on.

In this environment there are conflicting interests at work. The caller wants the best possible service at the lowest price. I want to maximize both my revenue and amount of sleep. For me to get dressed and go out it has to be a “sure thing”. PayPal prepayment is that sure thing. All “wee hour” callers are required to pay prior to my departure. That eliminates their desire to continue to price shop while I am in route; and a subsequent cancellation.

But not every caller wishes to commit and prepay during the initial contact. Some actually say they wish to make some more calls to price shop and might call me back “later”. Not wanting to be woken a second time for the same assignment; I tell them that a subsequent call will add 50$ to my quoted fee. That usually changes a shopper into a prepay. I know they made over a dozen calls just to get a live person answering the phone. If they wish to continue to price shop that’s fine with me, but there is a penalty for calling back and waking me a second time. Others never call back; that’s fine too. I’m back to sleep in moments.

It’s important to stress that your quoted fee is valid only during the current call. Let your caller know that in addition to having a “callback soon fee” you also have much lower rates during more reasonable hours. It’s difficult to remember all that must be conveyed when you are awake for 30 seconds. A bedside “punch list” or script – makes sure the essentials are covered.

This blog entry would be incomplete without covering the issue of fairness. Your price should never take into account the urgency or circumstances of the caller. Taking advantage of someone in dire circumstances is a sure way to develop a rotten reputation. Of course a 3AM fee will be higher than a 3PM fee. But it should be your standard fee for wee hour callers. Your logbook can defend the rate charged and being your standard for the nature of the service provided; taking into account the time of day.

24 hour service can be both rewarding and exhausting. A call that takes you from a sound sleep to scraping the ice from the windshield can make a near zombie of you for the rest of the day. But, meeting and solving a desperate situation has many rewards. You “stand out” from the crowd as one willing to meet the need, anywhere and anytime; worthy of the title Notary Public.

Share

July 2, 2014

Unhappy Client Pays Again (Family of Italians)

Unhappy client pays Again
As usual it was supposed to be a routine job. The client was in one of the outer Boroughs of New York, the Bronx and my fee included the extra travel time. They needed “an” Apostille added to a Power of Attorney to be signed by a family of four. The POA document was written in Italian, the client was glad to have found me as many local notaries refused. I did the customary clearance for IDs and an appointment was scheduled.

As I was told the document was being prepared in Italy, I was sure the notary section would be also in Italian and useless. Useless because I do not read Italian, and, even if I did it could not be further processed for an Apostille. Therefore I asked my client to email the document to me. I planned to add the requisite notary sections after conferring as to the clients’ choice of Jurat or Acknowledgement. The client did not email the document to me. As he had prepaid (because of the extensive travel involved) I was committed to show up as scheduled. Two reminder calls asking for the email with the document went unanswered.

Upon arriving the client asks me if I had printed the document and brought a copy with me! I related to him that he never set it to me nor did he respond to my two voice mail requests. No document. He hurries off in his car to go to his house to print the document and returns half an hour later. Problems. It appears that there is a blank area that needs something to be filled in. To my great surprise in a household of Italians not one of them is able to read the Italian document. Their lawyer in Italy did read the document to them, presumably in English and they (the four of them) were aware of the content. However, none were able to decipher what should be entered into the blank area. Frantically they search the neighborhood for an “old timer” who could read it.

Finally they determine what needs to be entered in the blank area. To me it appeared to be two documents. But the client instructs me that the “second section” is only “processing instructions”. I ask if that section should be included by stapling to the first section. “You might as well” I was told, “that way the instructions would be with the POA authorization”. I staple the two parts together to formulate a single document. The notarization was routine. They signed above the line and printed their names under the line. As they had opted for me to prepare Acknowledgements, four separate ones were affixed to the signature page.

We had met on Saturday, so on Monday morning I am first on line at the courthouse to begin the process of obtaining the desired Apostille. About an hour later the processing was complete. Then it’s off to their New York attorney to deliver the document. Mission accomplished! On the way home stopped for a hard earned hot coffee and bagel. While munching the bagel I get a call from the attorney who just received the Apostille. As soon as he identified himself I knew bad news would follow; attorneys rarely call to say “well done”.

“What you delivered is totally useless and was improperly processed”. That was a wakeup call, as I was sure I followed the clients’ instructions precisely. There are two separate and distinct sections that were mailed to the family and each needs an Apostille. “Why did you not have them sign the second part, and you also failed to Apostille that part separately”. Mr. Attorney, I told “our” client that I did not read Italian and that he would have to tell me exactly how the documents were to be processed. I distinctly asked if two Apostilles were required and to tell me where it says in Italian that each should be signed. Apparently, the client told his attorney that he could relay the signing instructions, but, failed to do so.

So, now we are scheduled to do the entire job again; also on this coming Saturday morning. Once again the client as made a PayPal payment for the second “try”. This time he assures me the two documents will be stapled separately and the signature areas will be preprinted at the end of each document. I am fortunate that my client accepts total responsibility for not being prepared. He admits his major error was not having the preparer of the Power of Attorneys (now I think there are two) prep the documents with signature areas. My lesson learned is that I must receive via email non-English documents to be sure that complete signing instructions are included, written by the same entity that prepared the documents. A http://newyorkmobilenotarypublic.com must be ready for anything, we all must continue to learn from our experiences and do better next time!

Tweets:
(1) They needed an Apostille added to a Power of Attorney written in Italian to be signed by a family of 4.
(2) This family of Italians was stumped as to what to put in the blank area in their document! Mama mia!
(3) A family of Italians needs an Apostille on a POA drafted in Italy. Everything goes wrong. Find out more!

You might also like:

Affidavit of Support and direct communication with the signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7084

Notarization for Thai immigrants
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3545

Share

May 21, 2014

Notarized Power of Attorney

How do I get a notarized Power of Attorney?

It is a common thing to need a Notarized Power of Attorney. The problem is that many people don’t know where to go for help. Step one is that you need an actual Power of Attorney. Be careful. If you have the wrong Power of Attorney form, it might not be acceptable to whomever the custodian of the document is, or to the courts. I am not an Attorney and can’t advise you, but I suggest you consult an Attorney first to draft a Power of Attorney for you.

Step 1.
Get your Power of Attorney drafted by an Attorney or someone who your Attorney recommends.
If you use a standardized form from an office supply store, make sure you get it all filled out before calling the notary.
You will need to have an Attorney in Fact (Agent or Grantee,) a Grantor, and you need to specify what powers you are granting, and for how long, and under what conditions. It’s complicated and critical, which is why you need an Attorney at $200-$400 per hour!

Step 2.
Find a notary. Any notary can notarize a Power of Attorney. They can also notarize a Durable Power of Attorney, or notarize a Health Care Power of Attorney. Some states even allow the Notary to make certified copies of a Power of Attorney. 123notary offers a wide selection of mobile notaries who can come to your home, office, hospital room, or jail cell and get your Power of Attorney notarized. Make sure you have current photo-ID from a government agency.

Step 3.
Once your POA is notarized, you might need to submit it to a particular party, or have it registered somewhere. Ask your Attorney. Keep in mind that banks often have their own forms for Banking Power of Attorney which are often very simplified forms on card stock which would be significantly below the standards of an Attorney. But, if it is for their bank, they have the right to request any type of form they like. Just make sure your Attorney doesn’t object too terribly much. It’s complicated! Be prudent and consult the right people and Attorney before making your decision what to do.

Final Note
Don’t ask legal questions to Notaries. First of all, they are not trained to answer legal questions. Secondly, they are not allowed by law to answer legal questions. Get your legal questions out of the way with your Attorney before you make your initial call to the notary. Nothing is worse than keeping a notary on hold while you resolve issues that a responsible person would have resolved long before they called in a notary! Additionally, don’t ask a notary to draft documents unless they are authorized to do so based on some other qualifications they might have that are separate from their notary commission which does NOT authorize them to draft any legal document in most states.

Share

January 8, 2014

When do I have to redraw my Power of Attorney?

When Do I Have to Redraw my Power of Attorney?

If you have created only a Limited Power of Attorney, it is likely that at some point when you, the grantor/ principal, become more weak and infirm, the Limited Power of Attorney will have to be redone– and what you need is actually a Durable Power of Attorney. Unless you know that you need to grant Power of Attorney for only a very short time (example: after an accident, or while you are away on a trip, or for certain tax forms within a specific period of time), a Durable Power of Attorney is the best kind to obtain. Also, remember that if the grantor/ principal is no longer competent, he or she cannot draft a Power of Attorney or make changes. A Durable General Power of Attorney gives the Attorney in Fact the power to act on the grantor’s/ principal’s behalf in situations involving finances and health care/ medical emergencies, and continues even when the grantor/ principal is no longer competent. Remember that the Attorney in Fact should be a trusted relative or close family friend who would normally handle these matters anyway. The well-drawn Power of Attorney simply gives the Attorney in Fact power–legally–to handle your affairs in the eyes of medical and financial institutions.

Tweets
(1) If you redraw your POA, do it while the principal is still competent, otherwise it is too late.
(2) The Attorney in Face should be a trusted relative or friend.

You might also like:

What is the process of getting a power of attorney?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6741

Power of Attorney: types often created
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6732

Share

January 2, 2014

How can a Power of Attorney be revoked?

Filed under: Power of Attorney — Tags: , — admin @ 12:54 am

HOW CAN A POWER OF ATTORNEY BE REVOKED?

Unless it is a Durable Power of Attorney, a Power of Attorney is fairly easy to revoke. A Power of Attorney may be set up to expire on a certain date or may be revoked by a written statement made by the principal as long as the principal is still mentally competent; if there is any question about this, the situation may become complicated because the Attorney in Fact may need to move to obtain a conservatorship or guardianship, or another family member may attempt to do so. If the principal is no longer competent to make decisions, someone may question his or her right to revoke the POA. Thus, if the parties are agreeable, it is an easy matter to revoke a Power of Attorney; however, litigation and court battles can arise if the principal wishes to revoke a Power of Attorney when he or she is no longer competent to make that judgment–no longer capable of managing his or her affairs.

Tweets:
(1) A Power of Attorney is fairly easy to revoke. It can have an expiration date or be revoked by a written statement.
(2) Litigation & court battles can arise if the principal wishes to revoke a POA after they are no longer competent.

You might also like:

What is the process of getting a power of attorney?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6741

Power of attorney for a deportee
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3421

Share

December 31, 2013

Where can I find someone to draft a Power of Attorney?

Where Can I Find Someone to Draft a Power of Attorney for Me?

The appropriate person to draft a Limited Power of Attorney or a Durable Power of Attorney is– an attorney! The best way to find an attorney is to ask someone you know who has been in a situation like yours and can recommend an attorney in your area. Another possible way to find an attorney is to look on the Internet. Websites such as USA.gov can help you find a reputable attorney http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/complaint/legal/find-attorney.shtml . Be sure you use a website where you can read reviews of the attorney from people who hired that attorney to draft a Power of Attorney or deal with similar issues you are facing. Also, you should call that attorney’s firm and see if they are pleasant and helpful, and will give you a free initial consultation on the phone. Use your instinct! If the law firm does not call you back or does not seem interested in your case– do not use that law firm. Google “Find an attorney in ________” and add your city and state. Then, search by the type of practice they do; usually attorneys who do Wills and Estate Planning will be the ones to call. In my experience, it is best to check several websites and call a number of attorneys. This project may take you several days, but it is the best way to find an attorney to draft a Power of Attorney. It is the same as choosing a notary: the ones with great reviews who answer the phone or call you back are the BEST!

Share

December 19, 2013

Do I need an Attorney to check my Power of Attorney Form?

Filed under: Power of Attorney — Tags: , — admin @ 1:07 am

Do I Need an Attorney to Check my Power of Attorney Form?

Yes. You would not give legal advice to anyone else unless you were an attorney, and you should not attempt to create legal wording for yourself, either. Have an attorney check your Power of Attorney form unless you are prepared to lose a lot of time and money. There are many stories on the Internet that attest to the fact that a poorly done Power of Attorney will be questioned by a bank or other institution, and will be virtually useless. If your Limited Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney is not executed correctly, the agent or Attorney in Fact will be denied funds from the grantor’s/ principal’s bank account, for example, when the funds are needed in an emergency. You may also want to check with your bank, doctor, and local hospital to see what wording they accept in a Power of Attorney.

You might also like:

Who drafts a power of attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6734

Who is the custodian for a power of attorney?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6736

Share

December 12, 2013

Where can I find a Power of Attorney form?

Filed under: Power of Attorney — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:05 am

Where Can I Find a Ready-made Power of Attorney Form?

Some grantors or principals obtain a ready-made Power of Attorney from an office supply store or obtain one online from any number of vendors. You can google “Power of Attorney form.” This may seem like a quick and inexpensive way to create a Power of Attorney so that the principal or grantor may immediately grant powers to the Attorney in Fact. Some online vendors such as rocketlawyer can even customize your Power of Attorney so that the document will be more like what you would get by hiring an attorney skilled in drafting a Limited or Durable Power of Attorney.

However, what seems inexpensive may actually cost more in the long run if the document is not tailored to the specific needs and wishes of the grantor/ principal and Attorney in Fact involved. Particularly in dealing with elders, where the grantor/ principal may be weak and relatively helpless, a well-drafted Power of Attorney can prevent the Attorney in Fact from making mistakes or exercising powers other than what the grantor or principal actually intended.

This sample document–meant to be customized by filling in necessary stipulations and crossing out statements that do not pertain to your particular needs– demonstrates the complexity of drafting a Power of Attorney: http://www.lawyercox.com/Sample%20Power%20of%20Attorney.htm. There are many choices to be made and many types of wording that need to be included. In the long run, if assets and the life of the grantor/ principal are involved, it may be much better to find an attorney to draft a Power of Attorney that stipulates the particular powers you grant your Attorney in Fact.

You might also like:

What is the process of getting a power of attorney?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6741

Power of Attorney: Types Often Created
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6732

Share

December 7, 2013

What rights does the Attorney in Fact have?

WHAT RIGHTS DOES THE AGENT or ATTORNEY IN FACT HAVE?

The agent is or Attorney in Fact is capable of making decisions for the principal in accordance with the scope of authority he or she was granted in the Power of Attorney, and may act as a kind of personal representative in business and other matters. These decisions may involve health care, as in the case of an elderly person or minor child, financial decisions, or both. The Attorney in Fact may act only in the capacity designated in the Power of Attorney–according to what rights were granted by the principal. An Attorney in Fact may not suddenly assume the power to make health care decisions on behalf of a deteriorating grantor, for example, if these rights were not granted in the original POA. On the other hand, if the Attorney in Fact has been granted the right to make health care decisions, these may include terminating medications or even life support. Only a Durable Power of Attorney can be used even if the grantor has become mentally incapacitated http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=durable-power-of-attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney very often grants rights to make both heath care and financial decisions, but it may also be for finances alone. In this case, the Attorney in Fact may use the principal’s assets to pay for necessary recurring expenses or medical care; may execute transactions at banks and financial institutions on behalf of the principal; may operate the principal’s business and handle all financial aspects of the business; may manage all finances and accounts that exist in the name of the principal; may transfer property to a trust already created; may buy and sell insurance policies; may collect, deposit, and spend government benefits such as Social Security and Medicare; may pay taxes on real estate and vehicles; may invest money in stocks and bonds; and may even hire an attorney to represent the principal in court. This type of POA may grant the Attorney in Fact the right to make health care decisions as well as financial decisions, yet all rights are set forth and may be limited at the beginning by the grantor. A Durable Power of Attorney, the most permanent and well-recognized type of POA, may confer the right to make all decisions except the power to make, change, or revoke a will; the right to vote; the right to arrange a marriage for the principal; and the right to change the beneficiary of an insurance policy.

You might also like:

What is the process of getting a Power of Attorney?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6741

Which legal documents are recorded?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4426

Share

December 6, 2013

Can I draft a Power of Attorney for myself?

Can I Draft a Power of Attorney for Myself?

Anyone can always try to deal with the law on their own. You could draft a Power of Attorney and then have a lawyer check it before you use it. However, unless you have a thorough knowledge of your state’s laws, and have specific training or have done many hours of research on Powers of Attorney (Limited Power of Attorney vs. Durable Power of Attorney) and are sure of the correct wording, it is not advisable to draft your own Power of Attorney. Banks and other institutions may not recognize your Power of Attorney or the Attorney in Fact you chose if the language and format are not correct. If you are looking for a Durable Power of Attorney that will allow the Attorney in Fact to handle thousands of dollars and many transactions over a number of years, it makes sense to have the proper documentation.

You might also like:

Who drafts a power of attorney?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6734

Typical things notaries do wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=58

Share
Older Posts »