MT House Bill 374 | NNA
Law

MT House Bill 374

Notary Law Update: MT House Bill 374

State: Montana

Summary:

Montana enacts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). If a power of attorney is presented for notarization, a Notary will need to know that a signer may sign the power of attorney or may direct another person to sign it for him or her. The Act doesn’t require a power of attorney to be notarized, but a court will presume the signature to be genuine if it is acknowledged before a Notary or an officer authorized to take acknowledgments.

Signed:  April 01, 2011

Effective:  October 01, 2011

Chapter: 109

Affects:

Amends Sections 72-3-917, 72-5-501, 72-5-502, 72-31-222, 72-31-223, 72-31-224, 72-31-225, 72-31-226, 72-31-227, 72-31-228, 72-31-229, 72-31-230, 72-31-231, 72-31-232, 72-31-233, 72-31-234, 72-31-235, 72-31-236, and 72-31-238, of the Montana Code Annotated; and repeals Sections 72-31-201 and 72-31-237, of the Montana Code Annotated.

Changes:
  1. Requires a power of attorney to be signed by the principal or in the principal’s conscious presence by another individual directed by the principal to sign the principal’s name
  2. Provides that a power of attorney is presumed to be genuine if the principal acknowledges the signature before a Notary or other officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments and defines the term “acknowledged” to mean “purportedly verified before a notary public or other individual authorized to take acknowledgments.”
  3. Permits a power of attorney to be electronically signed (and, impliedly, electronically notarized).
  4. Exempts from the scope of the Act a power of attorney for health care decisions, a proxy or other delegation to exercise voting rights or management of rights with respect to an entity and a power created on a form prescribed by a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality for a governmental purpose.
  5. Provides a statutory power of attorney form.
Analysis:

Montana adopts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act published by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The Act does not require a power of attorney to be acknowledged before a Notary Public, but grants a presumption of genuineness to any power of attorney that is. In line with other states that have adopted the Act, Montana’s enactment permits a power of attorney to be electronically signed, and by inference, electronically notarized. Notaries should take note that the Act also permits a power of attorney to be signed by another person in the principal’s conscious presence if the person is directed to sign by the principal; it does not mention whether this proxy signer may or may not be the person (agent) granted powers of attorney.

Read the bill text.

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