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Hotline Tip: Attorney-Notaries Notarizing For Their Clients

New Hotline Resized 3

In some states, attorney-Notaries have the so-called "privilege" of notarizing for clients without their legal fees -- which generally are far greater than what can charged for a notarization -- being regarded as a disqualifying, beneficial interest. But it's probably not the best idea.

The essential role of a Notary is to protect everyone's best interest by serving as an impartial, third party witness. Attorneys are paid to be advocates for their clients, a role that violates notarial impartiality. That's why it is always best and safest for lawyers to have another Notary notarize documents for their clients, regardless of what state law says.

4 Comments

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Ed Bolles

10 Sep 2015

Hi, My Ex Wife has an attorney, utilized in trying to take my children 3000 miles away, and of whom has notarized her own motions. I their something that can be done?

National Notary Association

14 Sep 2015

Hello. We're sorry, but we cannot provide legal advice regarding child custody disputes. You would need to contact an attorney for assistance.

Connie Guthrie

21 Aug 2017

Can an Oklahoma attorney, who was the attorney for my father who died in 2013, be the notary for documents filed by 2 sisters who SUPPOSELY received everything, their are 5 children. Recently, the two sisters have had this attorney to do documents stating that the one sister HAD a life estate since 1969 the year she was born. My mother would not of done this, she would of had a life estate for ALL the children, me being born in 1950. SO this is a lie, and this attorney knows this. HE also signed as the notary. IS this unethical in the state of OK?

National Notary Association

22 Aug 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but we are not attorneys and cannot answer questions whether or not the situation you describe above is legal or not. If you suspect an attorney of misconduct, you can file a complaint with the Oklahoma State Bar. More information is available here: http://www.okbar.org/public/complaint.aspx.

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