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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: How To Tell If A Patient Is OK To Sign

When notarizing for a person with a serious medical condition, it’s important to carefully screen the patient for willingness and awareness to determine if they understand what they are doing.

Medication, exhaustion, their mental condition or other factors could affect the patient’s judgment, making them vulnerable to fraud. While you aren’t a doctor, a commonsense judgment can make all the difference. A simple conversation can help you make sure the patient is awake and alert. You can ask about the document or even make small talk about the weather.

If the patient seems clear, responsive and willing to sign, go ahead with the notarization. Any sign of grogginess or confusion is cause for concern. Reschedule the notarization for a time when the patient is more alert.

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