Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Dealing With A Power Of Attorney Signing Situation

How should a borrower sign a document using a Power Of Attorney? – A.C., Murrieta, CA

In this case, your customer will be signing their name in the capacity of attorney in fact for a principal signer. Prior to the signing, the Signing Agent should find out from the contracting company or closing agent for the transaction how they would like the attorney in fact to sign.

To illustrate, here is an example of how the signer, using a Power of Attorney (POA), might sign:

John R. Burns, by Mary S. Anderson, attorney in fact; or

Mary S. Anderson, attorney in fact for John R. Burns, Principal

In the acknowledgment certificate, you will only put the name of the individual serving as attorney in fact appearing before you because he or she is the one you are identifying. You will not enter the capacity. For example, you would just write: "Mary S. Anderson" and not write the capacity: "attorney in fact."

Similarly, in completing the journal entry, you would enter the name, address and identification of the attorney in fact, and have the attorney in fact sign and affix his or her thumbprint to each entry. In addition, the NNA recommends adding in the "Additional Information" column a note that the individual was the attorney in fact and the name of the principal.

Another scenario is that the customer signs in the capacity of an individual as well as attorney in fact for somebody else. In this case, the signer would sign first his or her own name, and then as the attorney in fact for the other individual. On the acknowledgment certificate, you will only write the name of the individual appearing before you. You would need to complete two entries in your journal and the attorney in fact would need to sign your journal twice.

For more information on the subject of Powers of Attorneys, check out the NNA webinar titled Powers of Attorney and Attorneys in Fact - What Does A Notary Need to Know?

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

Additional Resources:
NNA Reference Material

NNA Webinars

Related Articles:
Notary Reference Manual, State-Specific Certificates Now Available Online For NNA Members

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Revised Laws Provide Better Protection for Estate and Financial Planning

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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

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