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Q&A: Powers Of Attorney, And How To Handle Them

Powers Of Attorney And How To Handle Them

Whether a signer seeks a power of attorney (POA) for another person or is signing on behalf of a principal, powers of attorney add an extra layer of complexity to notarizations. Because it’s tempting for a dishonest person to abuse their positions when acting as another person’s representative, Notaries need to be especially alert for problems when notarial acts involve powers of attorney.

The Notary Bulletin spoke with Bernard A. Krooks, founding partner of Littman Krooks LLP and past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, to answer questions Notaries have asked about notarizations involving POA documents and representative signers.

Many states don’t require signers to show Notaries proof they have power of attorney when signing on behalf of another person and having their signature notarized. Do you recommend that Notaries ask to see evidence a signer has power of attorney anyway, even if that’s not required by state law?

Any time you’re asked to notarize a document, you not only need to see the signer’s ID but if they are acting on behalf of someone else, you should ask to see the document giving them that authority. I would recommend going even farther and also ask the signer to sign an affidavit that the power of attorney is still in force and in effect.

A Notary recently called the NNA about an unusual situation involving a POA. The signer wanted to use an existing power of attorney to sign and have a document notarized granting herself expanded authority over her mother’s affairs. Can a signer use a power of attorney to increase their own representative capacity? Is it appropriate to notarize in this situation, or should the Notary refuse?

The signer cannot do that. The only person who could expand the signer’s original power of attorney would the principal — the mother in this case. The agent can’t expand her power of attorney herself. She can delegate some powers to others if the original document authorizes doing so, but can’t add powers to herself.

What are danger signs Notaries should look for if an elderly signer asks for a power of attorney to be notarized and the designated representative is present?

It’s certainly not uncommon for people to take care of estate planning or powers of attorney in the company of friends or relatives. In many states, including New York, the agent is now required to sign the power of attorney document so it’s typical for the person named as the agent to be present. But if the Notary observes the signer appears to only be signing to appease the agent — for example, the agent says to the signer “I won’t take you to the doctor any more if you won’t sign this,” — that’s coercion or fraud. If a Notary sees this, the Notary needs to step back, ask the would-be agent to leave the room and talk to signer alone to ensure that the signer is willing.

158 Comments

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judith ortiz

25 Jul 2014

Can poa agents be added if the primary agent's health has become compromised and the principle is not able to .ale her own decisions?

National Notary Association

25 Jul 2014

Hi Judith, Whether a person can legally be granted power of attorney or not would be a legal question which would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Leslie Roden

28 Jul 2014

How does the POA agent sign? Do they just sign their name or do they have to add special wording to there signature " on behalf of" or something of that nature?

National Notary Association

30 Jul 2014

Hello Leslie, thanks for your question. A person with power of attorney normally indicates that they are signing as "attorney in fact" for a principal. Here's two common examples how a power of attorney might be signed, where John Doe has power of attorney to sign on behalf of Mary Roe: "John Doe, attorney in fact for Mary Roe, principal" "Mary Roe, by John Doe, attorney in fact" It's important to remember that because the attorney in fact is the person who appears before you and signs the document, it is the attorney in fact's name that is entered in the certificate wording-not the principal's. More information on handling powers of attorney is available in our June 2014 magazine Beyond The Basics article, page 23. If you're an NNA member, you can log in to read the article at http://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/the-national-notary. Thanks and have a great day.

Connie Sinn

13 Aug 2014

Do I have to have an attorney present when signing a POA in front of a notary or do I just need a witness?

National Notary Association

13 Aug 2014

Hello Connie, Unfortunately, we can't provide legal advice regarding the requirements for preparing a power of attorney document. To find out if you require a witness or attorney present when having a power of attorney document prepared and signed, we recommend consulting with a qualified attorney.

Abbey

14 Aug 2014

We got a POA onloine and my husband signed it before we realized it had to be notarized. will anyone still notarize it?

National Notary Association

14 Aug 2014

Hello Abbey, Whether a previously written signature on a document can be notarized depends on the type of notarial act requested. If a Notary is asked to acknowledge a signature, the signature may be written prior to appearing before the Notary, but the signer must appear in person and provide satisfactory proof of identity. If a Notary is asked to perform a jurat, the signature must be written in the Notary's presence. Because nonattorney Notaries may not advise you on legal requirements for documents, you may wish to consult with a lawyer to determine what type of notarization is required for the signature on the power of attorney and whether the document will need to be re-signed in the presence of a Notary Public.

Jason

03 Nov 2014

Can I notarize a copy? Person emailed me the POA and I printed it out.. Can I get that copy notarized or does it have to be an original?

National Notary Association

03 Nov 2014

Hello Jason, To help us better answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Tarek Chami

26 Dec 2014

Does Michigan require a signers to show Notaries proof they have power of attorney when signing on behalf of another person and having their signature notarized?

National Notary Association

30 Dec 2014

Hello Tarek, I forwarded your question to Bill Anderson, our VP of Legislative Affairs. Here's his response: "To my knowledge, Michigan Notaries do not have a duty to obtain proof that a person is the attorney in fact for a principal signer. Following are the relevant statutes: 565.264. Certificate of person taking acknowledgment. Sec. 4. The person taking an acknowledgment shall certify that the person acknowledging appeared before him and acknowledged he executed the instrument; and the person acknowledging was known to the person taking the acknowledgment or that the person taking the acknowledgment had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person described in and who executed the instrument. This statute basically states that in taking an acknowledgment, a Notary must certify that the Notary identified the signer as the person who executed the document. 565.266 Acknowledged before me, meaning. Sec. 6. The words “acknowledged before me” means: (a) That the person acknowledging appeared before the person taking the acknowledgment. (b) That he acknowledged he executed the instrument. (c) That, in the case of: (i) A natural person, he executed the instrument for the purposes therein stated. (ii) A corporation, the officer or agent acknowledged he held the position or title set forth in the instrument and certificate, he signed the instrument on behalf of the corporation by proper authority and the instrument was the act of the corporation for the purpose therein stated. (iii) A partnership, the partner or agent acknowledged he signed the instrument on behalf of the partnership by proper authority and he executed the instrument as the act of the partnership for the purposes therein stated. (iv) A person acknowledging as principal by an attorney in fact, he executed the instrument by proper authority as the act of the principal for the purposes therein stated. (v) A person acknowledging as a public officer, trustee, administrator, guardian or other representative, he signed the instrument by proper authority and he executed the instrument in the capacity and for the purposes therein stated. (d) That the person taking the acknowledgment either knew or had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person named in the instrument or certificate. This statute says that the words “acknowledged before me” in an acknowledgment certificate mean that a person signing as POA executed the instrument by proper authority as the act of the principal signer. So, part of the attorney in fact’s acknowledgment to the Notary is that the AoF executed the document with proper authority. In other words, the AoF must acknowledge this; the Notary has no duty to obtain any proof, but is required to obtain the AoF’s acknowledgment."

Angela Naatz

28 Jan 2015

When notarizing a POA, Can I use the California All-Purpose Acknowledgement for a POA or do I have to use the POA form (4307)? Which is best? Thank you!

National Notary Association

28 Jan 2015

Hello, When performing any notarial act in California, you would need to use the appropriate wording as set by state law. If you are performing an acknowledgment that will be filed in California, a jurat or a proof of execution, the certificate must include the new notice wording that took effect Jan. 1.

Rich

17 Mar 2015

I had a POA written for my mother online. The document was signed by her, in front of two witnesses and myself. We were under the impression that it did not need to be notarized at the time. If I would like to have it notarized now will everyone have to be present?

National Notary Association

17 Mar 2015

Hello Rich. I apologize, but determining what witnesses must be present for a signature on a power of attorney document is a legal question we can't answer. You would need to contact an attorney or the appropriate receiving agency for instructions on this matter.

Judy L. Reidy

20 May 2015

I am a real estate agent, and I have a contract to sell a home. My seller is elderly and living in the memory care unit of an assisted living facility in Texas. She had a POA drawn up in 2006, giving her daughter, who lives in Florida, all rights and privileges with no exceptions. The daughter in Florida cannot find the original copy of the POA. The title company which is handling the closing on selling the house the elderly seller has not lived in for years insists on having the original. Further, she refuses to close unless she goes to the seller herself and asks her questions about selling the house before she will notarize a new original POA. Can she do that???

National Notary Association

20 May 2015

Hello Judy. I'm sorry, but because this is a question about an individual title officer's actions during a closing, not notarial procedure, we would not be the right organization to answer this question. You may wish to contact an official at the title company if you have questions about their policies.

marie

01 Jun 2015

Hello I'm a notary kn Texas. I nototized a PO A.my mistake was signing my name on the principal line.The principal passed away before I could correct mistake.Now the bank willnot accept POA from daughter to withdraw money due to my signer instead of her mothers signature. How can I fix mistake? Please helphttp://bible.com/apphttp://bible.com/app

National Notary Association

02 Jun 2015

Hello Marie. To change or correct a completed power of attorney document, you would need to contact an attorney for legal advice and guidance.

Robin

03 Jun 2015

Hi, I'm a notary in CA. I have someone signing a home loan with a POA for her mom and her dad. If she has to sign twice on a form like the DOT (once for mom, once for dad), do I need to complete two certificates?

National Notary Association

04 Jun 2015

Hi Robin. POAs and home loans may have additional complications when notarizing. I've forwarded your question to our Information Services Team and will post here when we receive a response to your question. Thanks for your patience.

National Notary Association

04 Jun 2015

Hi Robin. Here's the response to your question from our Hotline Team: "The Notary can complete 1 acknowledgment with the signer signing as POA, multiple times. In the acknowledgment wording the Notary will indicate that 1 person appeared, with signing multiple times in multiple capacities. Below is an example of how the part of the acknowledgment will read. The areas highlighted, the Notary will leave plural: “he/SHE/they executed the same in his/HER/their authorized capacity(IES), and that by his/HER/their signature(S) on the instruments the person, or the entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.” If the Notary is using our certificates, they can also fill out the optional section to include the parent’s names and the capacity in which the signer signed." I hope this information helps answer your question. If you have any additional questions on this topic, Robin, please feel free to contact the Hotline team at hotline@nationalnotary.org.

Robin

05 Jun 2015

Thank you for the response - that is very helpful.

Oscar

20 Jun 2015

A poa was signed by individual appointing an institution. Also a affidavit of correction was notarized and signed by poa. Would I be able to sign as poa on the documents? And on the affidavit could I notarized it, and some one else sign as poa? Is this legal?

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2015

Hello. You may not notarize a document in which you are named or have an interest. If the document gives you power of attorney, or you are signing the document as attorney in fact representing another signer, you may not notarize that document due to conflict of interest.

Elsa

13 Jul 2015

In California...wife has a general POA to sign on behalf of deployed husband. Wife wants to notarize a loan document where she will sign as the spouse and ALSO on behalf of her husband by POA. The loan is from the husband's retirement fund (TSP). Is it legal for her to sign for herself and for husband by POA?

National Notary Association

15 Jul 2015

Hello. Please contact our hotline team at hotline@nationalnotary.org or 1-888-876-6827 for assistance with this question. Thanks.

Ray M.

01 Sep 2015

I am my mothers Durable POA in Massachusetts. I cannot find my notarized document. The attorney who notarized it is now disbarred from practicing in Massachusetts and cannot be contacted. Is there a Massachusetts Government Agency who keeps these records that I can obtain the document from? Thanks

National Notary Association

02 Sep 2015

Hello. If you or the attorney filed a copy of the notarized document with a government agency, you could contact that agency to ask if they have a copy available. However, if the document was kept by the attorney without being filed anywhere, a government agency wouldn't have a copy.

Amy

11 Sep 2015

My father-in-law is the named agentagent (attorney in fact) in a poa. The person executing the poa wants to know if I can notarize it. I have no relation to the person signing the poa. Is it ok to notarized if my father-in-law is the soon to be agent? Also, I am in Texas.

National Notary Association

14 Sep 2015

Hello. The Texas Secretary of State's website states that there is not a specific prohibition against notarizing for a spouse or relative. (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml#np11) However, if you would receive some potential benefit from this transaction, or a possibility that your relation to your father-in-law might cause the document's validity to be questioned at a later date, then another unrelated Notary should notarize the signature instead.

jack gautreaux

28 Sep 2015

can we make white out changes and add new agents to an existing notarized POA form. We need to replace 2 agents that have passed away.

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2015

Hello. Nonattorney Notaries cannot offer legal advice to signers, answer legal questions or prepare or alter legal documents on a signer's behalf. The signers would need to contact an attorney for assistance in changing a power of attorney form.

See

28 Sep 2015

Can a POA being signed in CA be use in NC? I'm in the process of closing and NC required that if a couple is legally married, both parties from the marriage have to be presenCe I have my POA but it was signed in a a. Do tall think that the title company would be ok with it being signed from CA?

National Notary Association

29 Sep 2015

Hello. You would need to contact the title company to ask if the document would be acceptable to them.

Gayle

01 Oct 2015

In 2012 my mom had her will and POA drawn up. She never got around to having her Power of attorney notarized. Can she still use the same papers or does she need to have her attorney draw up new ones with the current year on the signing page? Right now it has the year 2012.

National Notary Association

02 Oct 2015

Hello. We're sorry but that's a legal question we can't answer. You would need to contact a qualified attorney to assist you with this matter.

Connie Steidl

20 Oct 2015

The notary that signed my husbands DPOA left of the Jr. of my husbands name. Now my husband's dementia is too bad for him to sign a new one. The bank has denied it and now I can not get the equity from our house to continue his care when his long term care insurance runs out. Is the any way to correct this like maybe an affidavit from the notary that signed it?

National Notary Association

20 Oct 2015

Hello Connie. We're very sorry, but since this is a legal issue we are not authorized to provide advice on this topic. You may wish to contact an attorney to ask if there is there is an acceptable alternative to correct the error on the document in question.

Mary Beth

12 Nov 2015

The first page of my mother's durable power of attorney only had my first name on it. The document was notarized, but the bank would not accept it as my last name was not on the first page. Can I make an adjustment and resubmit the document to my mother's bank, or do I have to draw up a whole new document. She lives in Michigan and I live in Wisconsin.

Colleen

12 Nov 2015

On the actual signature line, does the power of attorney just sign his or her own name (as long as under the line it says the principal's name under power of attorney by the agent's name)? I am trying to figure out exactly what the agent writes on the line.

National Notary Association

17 Nov 2015

Hi Colleen. Please see this article for more information: http://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2014/09/four-questions-notaries-powers-attorney

Sandy

12 Nov 2015

Hi, I'm a notary in California. I need to notarize a POA for insurance policy. There are 3 parties: owner of the policy, insured and attorney in fact (who will act on behalf of the owner). Who should appear in front of me for acknowledgement? Is the insured and attorney-in-fact names also need to be on the acknowledgment?

National Notary Association

17 Nov 2015

Hi Sandy. We're sorry, but these are legal questions we're not authorized to answer. The signer will need to contact a qualified legal professional such as an attorney for instructions how to prepare the document and who needs to sign it.

Carolyn Willis

15 Nov 2015

is a poa signed in Indiana good in Tn.

National Notary Association

16 Nov 2015

Hello, Carolyn. We're sorry, but that's a legal question we aren't authorized to answer. You would need to contact an attorney for assistance.

Keisha

20 Nov 2015

My brother works overseas in Kuwait and he has made me POA. He has papers for a child support case that needs to be notarized, but we have called several places that won't accept the POA. Will it be possible to get the papers signed by me on his behalf I can I sign my name on the papers or does it have to be his name. I don't know what to do about this situation. He can't just fly here for a weekend it's not that easy.

National Notary Association

23 Nov 2015

Hi Keisha. We're sorry, but questions regarding the legal format of a power of attorney would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Catherine

12 Feb 2016

In the state of NY does a lawyer need to be present in order for me to notarize a Power of Attorney? Also what if the person that is giving power of attorney can't sign their name, but can give verbal acknowledgement that they want to do this; can someone else sign on their behalf? Thanks

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2016

Hello Catherine. These are two separate questions. Regarding your first question, New York Notary laws do not state that an attorney must be present when a Notary is asked to notarize a signature on a power of attorney document. Some powers of attorney may have specific requirements but it is the signer's responsibility--not the Notary's--to meet any special requirements for preparation and signing that a power of attorney document may require. A nonattorney Notary should never advise a signer regarding the preparation and legal requirements for a power of attorney, as that would be the unauthorized practice of law. Regarding your second question, no, New York does not authorize a third party to sign a document during a notarization at the verbal instruction of a physically incapable signer.

ccostin@safeopsurgical.com

12 Feb 2016

I am wondering the extent of a notarization in regards to a POA change. Example: An elderly woman has Alzheimer's and she has three daughters; one being the POA. One of the daughters (not POA) comes in with a notary and has her mother sign over the POA to her. The elderly woman has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's since at least 2006 and this event occurred in 2011. I assume a doctor was present as well. The question's being: Is this illegal of all parties? Does the original POA need to be present for the notarization to be valid? Can a new POA even be established by a notary certificate with the principal person being in the state of mind they are in? Thank you

National Notary Association

16 Feb 2016

Hello. We can't answer whether or not a specific transfer of power of attorney would be legally binding or not-that is a legal question that would need to answered by a qualified attorney. However, we can say that if during a notarization, the Notary spots signs that the signer does not understand what's going on due to a condition such as Alzheimer's, the Notary should not proceed with the notarization.

Anna

22 Feb 2016

Hi, my mechanic gave me a paper to sign and he said that is just permission that I let stay me car in his garage. I didn't read carefully and I signed power of authority. So he took the checks from insurance copmany and he signed the cheks with my name. Is that ligal?? Thank you.

National Notary Association

22 Feb 2016

Hello Anna. I'm sorry, this is not a Notary-related question and we cannot provide advice on legal matters. If you suspect you are a victim of fraud or misuse of a business document, you should contact the police or your state attorney general's office for assistance.

SHELBY MITCHELL

25 Feb 2016

My Mom has no clue that my brother who is a preacher is taking her money out of the bank.Im being told by many to just get power of attorney to handle her affairs.Myquestion is if she should die am i liable or responsible for her bills by being POA

National Notary Association

26 Feb 2016

Hello. I'm sorry, that is a legal question that we aren't authorized to answer. You would need to consult with a qualified attorney.

Amarprit Dhillon

29 Feb 2016

I am being asked to notarize a power of attorney for a friend's uncle who is paralyzed from the neck down. Can I notarize the power of attorney?

National Notary Association

01 Mar 2016

Hello. If you are being asked to notarize the uncle's signature, there may be an problem if he is physically unable to sign the document. If you can tell us what state you are commissioned in, we can provide more assistance. If you are an NNA member, you can also email our hotline counselors at hotline@nationalnotary.org for additional help.

Andreina

07 Mar 2016

When Notarizing a POA does the Notary have to witness and notarize the "agents" being assigned signatures, or just the signature of the person assigning the agents (the person giving power of attorney)?

National Notary Association

08 Mar 2016

Hello. Powers of attorney may have different requirements depending on the type of POA and state law. Regardless of the type of document involved, a nonattorney Notary should not make the determination whose signatures need to be notarized for a particular document. Questions regarding the legal requirements of a document should be directed to a qualified attorney.

NATALIE

07 Apr 2016

I am the agent on a DPOA for my mother who has Dimentia. However, I am confused as to who's Name and Signature should appear on the Preparation Statement on the last page (7) of the POA. Please advise.

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2016

Hello. We're sorry, but we cannot offer legal advice regarding the preparation of a power of attorney. You will need to consult a lawyer for assistance.

Glenn

20 Apr 2016

Can a New Jersey Notary Public notarize a Durable Power of Attorney form for someone living in New York?

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2016

Hello Glenn. A New Jersey Notary may notarize a document from another state, but the signer would have to appear in person before you in New Jersey and the notarization would have to conform to the requirements of New Jersey state law.

Lena

16 May 2016

I have a customer who's brother is sick in the hospital and she has a power of attorney for his medical situation and she is saying that he is competent. She wants to have a power of attorney to block his kids from visiting him because they are bothering him and asking for money. So my question is, Can she write poa herself and the brother sign if he is conscious and coherent?

National Notary Association

18 May 2016

Hello Lena. While we can't advise you on the legality of a specific power of attorney document, we can say that if you are asked to notarize the signature of a person who is ill or in the hospital, you should only proceed if the signer is aware and appears to understand what is going on. If the signer appears to be confused or disoriented due to illness, fatigue or medication, you should not proceed with the notarization. Also, do not proceed if it appears that a third party is trying to coerce or pressure the signer. As a precaution, during the notarization you may wish to ask all other parties to leave the room so you can speak to the signer one-on-one to establish if the signer is willing and aware.

Brittney

29 May 2016

A client presented a POA that her mother signed, giving her daughter authority over her affairs. The daughter also notarized the document. I turned her away because I viewed it as she had interest in the vehicle and could not notarize herself. Is this true?

National Notary Association

31 May 2016

Hello. That would depend on your state's laws. What state are you commissioned in, please?

Rozetta

14 Jun 2016

In NC can a POA sign a car title for who they have POA over?

National Notary Association

16 Jun 2016

Hello. We're sorry, that's a legal question that we can't answer. Any questions regarding what authority a power of attorney provides would need to be directed to an attorney.

Kevin

01 Jul 2016

Can an attorney in Virginia notarize a document they created and are the clients lawyer.

National Notary Association

05 Jul 2016

Hello. COV 47.1-30 states that no Virginia notary shall perform any notarial act with respect to any document, writing, or electronic document to which the notary is a party or has a direct beneficial interest.

Michael

22 Jul 2016

I recently was asked to notarize a POA, I was asked to go to a nursing home to handle that affair. Upon arrival I acknowledged that the executor, in this case the sick mother, but she could not sign, she understood everything about the POA I asked her and she nodded her head, yes and no, It was also brought to my attention that there was a piece of paper signed by the boyfriend as a POA, I backed off and decided to remove myself from the family dispute. Keep in mind I am a notary public in the state of Texas, how should I have handled this situation? Was that written piece of paper, even though it was not notarized by a notary public, is it Valid? Could I have notarized the document with the simple nod of the head, yes and no gestures, there was also two other witnesses in the room? I would appreciate feedback so that the next time this occurs, I am prepared for it. Thanks

National Notary Association

25 Jul 2016

Hello Michael. I'm sorry, we cannot give you a legal opinion on whether the power of attorney document you asked about was valid or not. However, regarding your question about whether it was appropriate for you to decline the notarization or not, Texas Notary law states that a Notary is authorized to refuse to perform a notarial act if the Notary has reasonable grounds to believe the signer is acting under coercion or undue influence (1 TAC 87.30[a]). While it's not entirely clear from your question what the situation was regarding the other persons in the room with the signer, if you were concerned that the signer was being forced to sign against her wishes based on the behavior of other persons present in the room, the signer's physical condition or other factors, then it would be appropriate to decline the notarization, or alternately reschedule it at a time when the signer can better communicate with you.

Lori C

27 Jul 2016

Can my mom revolk her current POA and assign a new POA by typing up a statement declaring all of this in front of a notary and having the notary sign. Will this be a binding and legal document? We live in California.

National Notary Association

27 Jul 2016

Hello. We're sorry but this is a legal question that needs to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Lucee Martyn

21 Aug 2016

In new York does a poa need to be notarize

National Notary Association

22 Aug 2016

Hello. That's a legal question that the signer would have to ask a qualified attorney.

Connie. Dean

25 Aug 2016

I need to get a POA for my 7grandchildren my daughter does not seem to have time or care to take them to the doctors or etc how do I do this with Little cost

National Notary Association

25 Aug 2016

Hello, we're sorry but this is not a Notary-related question we can answer. You would have to contact attorneys or other agencies that provide legal assistance services for assistance.

Alicia

29 Aug 2016

In Indiana, the POA agent notarized the POA. Is this allowed because they are a party to the document?

National Notary Association

30 Aug 2016

No. An Indiana Notary may not “acknowledge (sic) any instrument in which the notary’s name appears as a party to the transaction” (IC 33-42-2-2[a][2])

Jill

09 Sep 2016

I have a signer that is disabled and cannot sign. He is refi'ing his home and title is requiring a POA so his father can sign his loan docs for him. How do I go about notarizing that?? He can't even do an X... :(

National Notary Association

12 Sep 2016

Hello Jill. If the signer is completely unable to sign even with a mark, then you cannot perform the notarization.

Jack

19 Oct 2016

I have a POA for my mom. I went to file another document and was told they would not accept the document because the witnesses to the document did not sign next to their names. They signed below their names. How do I fix this? Thank you.

National Notary Association

19 Oct 2016

Hello. You would need to ask the receiving agency or an attorney for instructions on how to correct the document so that it is acceptable.

Becky Davidson

23 Oct 2016

My son is in Federal prison he ask me to become power of attorney for him can I feel out the paper for him then mail it to him to review and get notarized

National Notary Association

25 Oct 2016

Hello. How to prepare and complete a power of attorney is a legal question we can't answer. You would need to consult with a lawyer who can provide you with instructions on how to prepare a power of attorney for yourself and your son.

teresa07m@gmail.com

10 Nov 2016

I have been asked to notarize a POA for an elderly person. His medical condition has worsened to the point where he cannot hold a pen but he can speak and told me he wants to have the POA done. How can I notarize it if he cannot sign the document?

National Notary Association

16 Nov 2016

Hi Teresa. It depends on your state's laws regarding notarizing for a physically disabled signer. Some states, including Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska and Texas permit a Notary to sign for a signer who is physically unable to sign or make a mark. Other states (Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon and West Virginia) permit a Notary to notarize the signature of a third party who signs for a person who is physically unable to sign. However, if you are not in a state that permits one of these options, you cannot proceed with the notarization.

Doreen

21 Nov 2016

I am my fathers poa he received a check in the mail. As his poa am I aloud to sign the check on his behalf???

National Notary Association

21 Nov 2016

Hi Doreen. We're sorry, but that's a legal question we aren't authorized to answer. If you have questions regarding what authority a power of attorney gives you, you need to speak with a qualified attorney.

Joseph Larson

11 Dec 2016

My sister has poa although my aunt was first,my aunt as far as I know was never removed or notified ,is this legal ?

National Notary Association

12 Dec 2016

Hello Joseph. We're sorry, but we can't answer questions regarding the validity of a power of attorney. That is a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Dhy Keefer

19 Dec 2016

Is the principal of a power of attorney still able to sign their own checks (in addition to the agent)?

National Notary Association

19 Dec 2016

Hello. We're sorry, but that's a legal question we're not authorized to answer. Any questions regarding the legal details of a power of attorney would need to be answered by a qualified lawyer.

Crystal

07 Jan 2017

Hello, I am in the state of NY. My parents want to sign me as a POA. I know we need to get the form notarized but my question is what happens once it's notarized? Where do we send the form to? Do we just keep the form or are we suppose to make a copy for ourselves and send the form to a specific place? The form doesn't tell us or give us an address. Thank you!

National Notary Asssociation

09 Jan 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but because powers of attorney are complex legal documents that vary from state to state, these are legal questions we cannot answer. If you have any questions regarding creating a power of attorney, you need to speak to a qualified lawyer.

Heriberto Torres

13 Mar 2017

A client brought a New York Durable POA duly signed in the presence of a NOTARY public. The notary Stampede expired in 2014 and the signer now has alzheimer. Since its Durable is the notary required to renew his Stamp on the original document Thank you.

National Notary Association

14 Mar 2017

Hello. You would need to contact an attorney to find out if the document requires a correction or another notarization.

INOCENTE RENTERIA

17 Apr 2017

Can a notary public sign a power of Attorney on a vehicle that is not paid for?

National Notary Association

17 Apr 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but we are not clear what you are asking. If you have questions regarding notarizing a power of attorney, can you please let us know what type of notarial act is being requested and what state you are commissioned in? If you are asking a question regarding preparation of a power of attorney, that's a legal question we cannot answer and you would need to contact a qualified attorney for assistance.

Tracee

02 May 2017

We are signing power of medical attorney papers for our daughter's biological father to be able to take care of her in case she injured herself does he need to be present as well we legally adopted her 11yrs ago and his rights we're terminated at the time

National Notary Association

03 May 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but that's a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Carol Proffitt

13 May 2017

What if the agent has dementia and don't re member signing the revoke to get poa the one person the agent didn't want to have the poa

Norma Jean C[ark

18 May 2017

Would the power of attorney I made in Nevada in 2002 to my daughter in Georgia still be in affect?

National Notary Association

18 May 2017

We're sorry, but you would need to contact an attorney to answer any questions about a power of attorney's validity.

Kathy Craft

18 May 2017

My sister in law is a Louisiana State Notary Republic. On my brother's death bed she makes herself Power of attorney and signs will as a legal notary. She takes everything leaving his children nothing. She then returns a portion but to only one child.

Casey Edinger

19 May 2017

Hi, my Uncle Craig and Aunt Karen are taking care of my grandpa and are living in his house as his primary caretakers. Unfortunately, they are not his POA. His primary POA is my Uncle Brian and his secondary is my Aunt Kim, 2 of his children. My Uncle Craig is his son but Brian and Kim refuse to provide any papers for his care or give him money so he can buy food for the house or fix up the house etc. Aunt Kim buys the food and brings it over and it just is causing a lot of problems with the family. Since my Uncle Craig and Aunt Karen moved in they have used resources available to him thru the V.A. But when my Aunt Kim found out she has put a stop to a lot of these free cares. And then she went into the house and all the papers that were available to the family to see. We think that maybe her and Uncle Brian are hiding something because they have a history of being dishonest. We live in Wisconsin. Is there any advice you can give us so we can figure this out and make My Uncle Craig and Aunt Karen lives easier. They are only trying to take care of Grandpa.

National Notary Association

23 May 2017

Hello. We're sorry, we can't provide legal advice on your situation. If you suspect a family member is a possible victim of elder abuse, you may wish to contact local law enforcement or contact a local agency that handles elder abuse or elder care matters, such as an Area Agency on Aging for assistance.

Monika

23 May 2017

I am a notary public in PA. Someone came into the office and asked if I could notarize a POA which needs to be brought to the Russian Consulate in New York. The grantor would authorize the agent (which is his wife) to take over the authority of claiming information and relevant documents in regards to the possession and/ or obtaining a tourist Russian visa from the Visa application center in New York. Would that be an acknowledgement or an affidavit? Also, would this need to be an apostille since it's for the Russian Consulate? Thank you!

National Notary Association

24 May 2017

Hi Monika. The person asking for the notarization would have to tell you what type of notarization they want performed. If the person also wants an apostille, they would need to contact the appropriate state agency that issues apostilles directly themselves after the document is notarized. Notaries cannot issue apostilles or authentications for their own acts, and a Notary cannot determine if a document requires an apostille or not.

Janet Nuccilli

24 May 2017

How should the Notary section be worded for POA signature? example: On this __day etc., before me stood__________________(do I put the POA's name and "on behalf of"_________(the person who POA is representing?)

National Notary Association

24 May 2017

Hi Janet. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Christopher C Porter

05 Jun 2017

My mother has been recently admitted into hospice. She is not able to appear in front a notary to sign POA documents. What other options do we have?

National Notary Association

08 Jun 2017

Hello. One option would be to contact a mobile Notary in your area to ask if they can travel to your mother's location to notarize documents there.

Rachel

31 Aug 2017

In NYS can one notarize a POA to be signed by an X , instead of signature, by a hospitalized person who can not speak but only nod?

Rachel

31 Aug 2017

In NYS can one notarize a POA to be signed by an X , instead of signature, by a hospitalized person who can not speak but only nod?

Rachel

31 Aug 2017

In NYS can one notarize a POA to be signed by an X , instead of signature, by a hospitalized person who can not speak but only nod?

Rachel

01 Sep 2017

In NYS can one notarize a POA to be signed by an X , instead of signature, by a hospitalized person who can not speak but only nod?

National Notary Association

06 Sep 2017

Hello. NY General Construction Law, Article 2, § 46 defines a signature as follows: "The term “signature” includes any memorandum, mark or sign, written, printed, stamped, photographed, engraved or otherwise placed upon any instrument or writing with intent to execute or authenticate such instrument or writing." NY does not address the issue of direct communication with the signer. However, the Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility suggests there should be two-way communication between the Notary and signer. If the signer has communication issues, you may wish to speak to a hospital ombudsman or a patient advocate who can help.

Suzanne

14 Sep 2017

My mother is the principle on the medical POA we now need to have notarized. She and the first alternate live in Oregon. I (the Agent) live in Colorado. Can I sign here and have my signature notarized, then send to them for signature and notarization in Oregon. Do copies need to each be signed and notarized?

National Notary Association

15 Sep 2017

Hello. You would need to speak to an attorney to answer any questions about a specific power of attorney's requirements.

Ken Butler

04 Oct 2017

I have just received POA for my father who is in the nursing home in North Carolina. A check needs to be written to the nursing facility and I am wondering how this needs to be done. The check is in my dads name. Do I sign his name John Doe By John Doe Jr, POA?

National Notary Association

05 Oct 2017

Hello. We are sorry, but we can't advise you on how a check must be signed as that is not a notarial act.

Amanda Adair

16 Oct 2017

How do you correct a POA that was done for a mortgage closing? The loan amount was incorrect. The loan has closded. Is this correctable?

National Notary Association

17 Oct 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but we can't advise you on correcting a loan document. You would need to speak to an attorney or other legal or mortgage professional qualified to answer this question for advice on this matter.

Jacqueline Angela Stokes

19 Oct 2017

Hello I am a regular notary in the state of Oklahoma. I was recently asked to perform a power of attorney notarization for a couple that is doing a refi and the wife has been hospitalized. Can I perform that power of attorney even though I am not an attorney? If yes, what paperwork would I need to perform this act? An answer would be greatly appreciated.

National Notary Association

19 Oct 2017

Hello. While you may notarize a signature on a power of attorney if the notarial act requested meets all requirements of Oklahoma law, if you are not an attorney you may not prepare the power of attorney document, answer legal questions about it or direct the signer how to complete the document.

John Sword

08 Nov 2017

My situation is along the lines as the people above. That was my situation a couple months ago when I was asked to sign over POA to my "supposedly aunt or great aunt B, which lives in Virginia. My father recently passed and had property in Stafford county, VA which I've inherited as I'm his only son and proof by pen and paper from my gram, "it was his dying wish to make sure you got ANYTHING in his name and all the money in his account. Probably hearing the words power of attorney all together at once for the first time, I had no clue the pressure/tension being placed upon family members and a chance for dishonesty to take place once I signed POA to this aunt betty I've never met before, but absolutely knew only what family would and my gram in AZ called me 100x along with betty and her son that just got out of prison called me as well pushing me to hurry and sign. After I saw how impatient they was for a signature, I took your advice to "seek legal help". I live in OH by the way so in a way it makes sense to sign it over that way I have an agent(aunt betty) locally acting on my behalfselling the parcel but in my mind I don't know her any better than the stranger across the street. I read the POA her lawyer typed up and it was basically forcing me to "TRUST" that shed send me my 1/6 of the amount the lot/parcel sells for. My gram in AZ said I might get around 10K but remember aunt betty son that just spent a year in Florida prison called me the same morning I had betty in VA calling my gma in AZ to call me n tell me some strange relatives "love you n would never hurt you" and earlier when prison dude called me i told him I was going to come to Virginia TODAY. He said he don't know if they take walk-ins w out appointment after he proposed the parcel was set to sell between $300-400,000 so I said ill drive down and take care of everything instead of all this paperwork n that's when my phone wouldn't stop ringing. Gma in AZ was trying to get me to sign POA, general I believe. But they put under the explanation of the use n legalities of the paperwork was 1. through 4. So 4 powers I would give authority to, but in reality I'm thinking this crook is trying to get me to sign my rights to part of the property so they could in turn split my portion. Reason for that is because one month before all this I was being asked to prove I was in fact my fathers son. Pictures alone say everything, could have been twins but I have his baby tooth n first haircut as DNA so I felt some one didn't want me to have any part of this entire bonanza they've created. Bettys original copy she sent me wanting my signature had at the very bottom, #3, almost as if placed clear down there in hopes I didn't read. #3 read the proceedings of the property were to be disbursed at the POA best interest or deemed fit so I immediately payer a lawyer $ I don't have to call bettys lawyer on what's really going on and she straightened up the paperwork where it read at the bottom EXCEPT RECEIVE PROCEEDINGS OF PROPERTY ...to be sent to...my name n address etc... If you happened to make it through this and could answer a question, I greatly appreciate it. That being, after I've signed and sent out the POA and me not really knowing this relative.....can she possibly change up the form? Basically, can she end up taking me for my 1/6 portion of the property in VA while I'm in OH? Thank you! =)

National Notary Association

08 Nov 2017

Hello. We are sorry, but we cannot provide legal advice. These questions would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Hayley Goosby

11 Feb 2018

Can a power of attorney be notorized even if all parties are not involved? Does this mean the document would still be legal or illegal? I really need help understanding here

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2018

Hello. We would need more details about the notarization being requested to assist you with this question. If you can contact our Hotline Team at 1-888-876-0827, one of our counselors should be able to help you.

Tonya

05 Apr 2018

Are there documents I should not notarize for employers client? Such as a poa for health care patient?

National Notary Association

05 Apr 2018

Hello. We can't comment on specific documents without more details being provided about the notarization being requested. But in general, you may perform a notarization requested as long as the notarial act meets all requirements of your state's laws (such as the signer personally appearing and being identified according to your state's rules), and you do not have a disqualifying interest in the document.

Mary Thompson

05 Apr 2018

My mother had Northwestern Mutual to a Durable POA over all of her assets and property. My sister and her husband are seasoned attorneys and decided to make my sister Durable POA behind my back and made my sister Durable POA and wrote me out of the will. I don't think she remembered that Northwestern Mutual had filed a durable in 2011. The POA with Northwestern Mutual should be enforced. No documentation of any resignation of NWM. My mom is now incompetent and I need to know that the Durable POA that was recorded first is the valid POA. I hope you can help me.

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2018

Hello. We are sorry, but we are not attorneys and cannot provide you with legal advice regarding whether or not a power of attorney document or a last will and testament is valid. You would need to contact a qualified lawyer for assistance.

Cricket Smith

12 May 2018

I really do not have a comment. I have a question. If two people although married are listed on a general POA over an elder do they both have to sign the POA in front of a notary? I am curious bc my family is dealing with a major issue about a POA that just happened to show up out of the blue. I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this POA and there are 3 signatures, Moms which is not in the same ink as the others, the so called agent, and a notary. I live in Alabama so i wanted to ask bc this person is a notary themself. I know she can not notarize her own signature, right? THANK YOU !!! in advance for answering these questions.

National Notary Association

15 May 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but we cannot give a legal opinion whether or not a power of attorney document is valid or not, or answer legal questions regarding powers of attorney. You would need to contact a qualified attorney for assistance.

Beth

13 Jun 2018

Hi. Last year after my husband was incarcerated, he appointed me as Piwe of Attorney. He became upset about how I handled a financial transaction so he revoked the POA. My husband then named his father POA. I have since learned my father-in-law has named my sister-in-law his POA. Does the override the father being POA and give authority to the sister? This is in North Carolina. Thank you.

National Notary Association

14 Jun 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but that is a legal question that we cannot provide an answer for. You would need to contact an attorney for assistance.

Roni Greer

05 Aug 2018

My son was going to prison. He had a POA drawn up. There were 2 people named, and both signed and all persons signed with notory. My problem: one of the persons why signed became an ex girlfriend, she burned the POA she had. The o pther person listed on .pO.a was his brother. When he brothers went to the bank wanting to look into financials, due to possible unauthorized banking activity, the bank said his was unusable because the is a blue stamp on the top right of the page that says ‘copy” it was never intended there be this “copyy” issue. We all thought both parties named on the document had authorize What does “copy” stamped at the top of POA mean? 2persons were listed to have authority, these same 2persons signed and all was notarized with the person creating the document also signing with the notory. One of the POA was burned up. The second document has the copy stamp. It is critical that we use the POA as it is possible his money is not being accounted for legally, but until we can see the financials we are worried his ex girlfriend, who had all the bank passwords and inside information m including being able to forge checks. So, bottom line. COPY means what. How do we make a new POA? The worst problem is that my son, who initiated the POA IS NOW IN PRISON. This greatly makes this so difficult. I did call his attorney, and they could not find the POA written on his behalf in May of this year. Help is needed.

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2018

Hello. We are sorry, but we are unable to answer your questions. Any questions regarding preparation of a power of attorney are legal questions that must be answered by a qualified attorney.

Inas A Taha

08 Aug 2018

In California, is the agent required to sign the power of attorney document when being issued?

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2018

Hello. Any questions regarding preparing a power of attorney should be directed to a qualified attorney.

Melissa

25 Aug 2018

Both my sister and I are on my mother's POA I'm listed first with my sister second but my sister wasn't there when the notary person was there and my sister never signed so is it just me that is mom's POA?

National Notary Association

27 Aug 2018

Hello. We're sorry but these are legal questions that would need to be answered by an attorney.

Sonja Barton

31 Aug 2018

Does South Carolina require that a POA document be notarized or are 2 witnesses signatures sufficient?

National Notary Association

31 Aug 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but those are questions that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Coleen Lindell

03 Oct 2018

I have POA forms that were drawn up by an attorney, but they have never been signed and/or notarized. Do they expire after a certain time from the date they were printed?

National Notary Association

03 Oct 2018

Hi Colleen. That is a question that would need to be answered by an attorney.

Lisa Griffin

08 Oct 2018

I had my mother sign and notarize a POA at her bank making me POA. I believe she has been giving money to my nephew and is in danger of not being able to pay her bills. When I went back to the bank to register myself as her POA with them I was told that they could not do this as it would be a conflict of interest since they notarized the POA and I would have to have the POA notarized somewhere else. Is this true?

National Notary Association

08 Oct 2018

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

Linda S Burt

10 Dec 2018

When notarizing a POA signature in Idaho, would I complete the certificate as follows: "personally appeared Brenda Smith as attorney in fact for Joe Smith?"

National Notary Association

10 Dec 2018

Hello. Please see this article for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2014/09/four-questions-notaries-powers-attorney

Rose simpson

06 May 2019

Can I purchase a used car as a agent to drive the client to their appointments and every where they need to go? Because I'm putting to many miles on my car.

National Notary Association

07 May 2019

Hello. Any questions about the effects of a power of attorney you have been granted would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

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