Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize For An Adult With A Presumed Mental Deficiency?

A client with an adult son has asked to get a medical Power of Attorney over him, as he suffers from nearly constant seizures. There are, however, questions about the man’s mental capacity. Am I able to notarize such a document in this case? If not, to whom should I refer my client? - M.P., Redwood City, CA

If the adult son is not competent enough to understand the contents of the document and sign it voluntarily at the time of notarization, you should not perform this notarization. As a Notary, you are not authorized to offer advice, but you can refer the parent to an attorney who could provide assistance in this situation.

If, on the other hand, it is determined that the man understands the contents of the document and is competent enough to sign it, then you may notarize the document.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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