I am starting a new service for my business, which consists of locating unclaimed assets and charging a fee. Any items valued at over $1,000 must be notarized. Would performing the notarization myself be a conflict of interest, as I am the owner of the company? If so, could I have my husband perform the notarization, as I am a sole proprietor? – G. Z., Los Angeles, CA
It would be a conflict of interest under California law for you to notarize financial transactions in which you are named individually as a principal to the transaction. It would also be a conflict of interest to notarize real property transactions in which you are named individually as a grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, beneficiary, vendor, vendee, lessor or lessee to the transaction (Government Code Section 8224). Under the same statute, your husband could notarize your signature on these documents without a conflict of interest if he notarized your signature in the capacity of an agent, employee, insurer, attorney, escrow officer or lender. However, since California is a community property state, your husband should exercise great care in notarizing your signature on company documents due to the potential for a conflict of interest.
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
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