If you are asked to notarize for a signer who’s in the hospital or otherwise affected by health issues, some advance planning can help ensure the notarization goes smoothly for you, the signer and the signer’s family. Before scheduling the notarization, ask if the signer’s awareness is affected by their condition or any medication they are taking. Try to schedule the notarization for a time when the signer is most alert, able to communicate and comfortable. Avoid scheduling when the signer will be tired, groggy or affected by medication taken. Also make sure the signer will have satisfactory ID available for the notarization. Some signers undergoing medical treatment, especially those in hospitals, may not have ready access to their driver’s license or other ID. If this is the case, ask if a relative or friend can arrange for the signer to have his or her ID on hand. If the Notary has any concerns or questions about how a signer’s health may affect their ability to communicate with the Notary, ask if you can speak with the signer’s doctor or healthcare provider and find out if there are any special circumstances you need to be aware of when notarizing. Key Points: Try to plan the notarization for when the patient is alert and unaffected by medication Make sure the signer has access to satisfactory ID prior to the notarization If you have concerns or questions, ask if you can speak to the signer’s doctor David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.