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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Notarizing Living Trusts

New Hotline Resized 3When asked to notarize a will, I suggest that the person consult an attorney prior to notarization. Does the same recommendation apply to a living trust?

– K.B., Roanoke, VA

If someone asks you to notarize a will, you may suggest they get legal advice first or proceed to notarize it. You will need to ensure the will has a notarial certificate, and if it does not, the signer will need to tell you whether to take their acknowledgment or administer an oath (jurat).The same thing applies to living trusts. You can notarize those documents as long as you are specifically directed by the signer as to what kind of notarization (acknowledgment or jurat) the living trust requires.

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

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

 

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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24 Comments

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Jas

10 Apr 2017

Can CALIFORNIA notaries notarize a trust? For example, client comes in executing trust by signing the trust itself and then get signature notarized...is this allowed in CALIFORNIA and if so, are there any limitations to notarizing trust? Thank you!

National Notary Association

11 Apr 2017

Hello. Yes. A California Notary may notarize a trust. It is just like any other notarization: scan the documents for blanks and make sure the certificate wording complies with state law. However, if the trust includes real property you must obtain a thumbprint in your journal.

Kim Bostrom

07 Jun 2017

Can Arizona notaries notarize a living trust?

National Notary Association

08 Jun 2017

Hello Kim. Yes, provided that the notarial act requested is permitted by state law and meets all requirements of state law.

libertylight@gmx.com

29 Oct 2017

Can a person who had a stoke able to make changes to their living trust? Am I able to notarize such a change in California?

National Notary Association

30 Oct 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but any questions regarding a person with a medical condition changing a legal document would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Randee Brien

27 Feb 2019

In CA, can a Pour Over Will and/or Living Trust be notarized if the client told me they’d rather I notarize than them get 2 witnesses?

National Notary Association

01 Mar 2019

Hello. A will should never be notarized if the testator is asking the Notary questions about how to proceed. Please see here for more information regarding notarizing wills: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/tips-tutorials/notarize-wills

Dan

30 Apr 2019

CA notary here. I've been asked to notarize approx. 10 documents relating to trust updates. I've been told It will require a husband, his wife and two witnesses to sign. Do I charge a fee for the witnesses signatures and do I include them in my journal along with the wife and husband?

National Notary Association

30 Apr 2019

Hello. If you are notarizing the witness' signatures, then you may charge a fee, otherwise you would not charge them.

Sheri

22 May 2020

I am going to notarize a trust for a husband and wife. She said she needs to have 2 witnesses. I cant remember if I need all 4 of them to sign the journal or if i just need the witnesses signatures in my journal entries

National Notary Association

27 May 2020

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

Shenisha

21 Jul 2020

I want to notarize a trust for a girl involving her kids. Can I do so. I'm in the state of louisiana

National Notary Association

22 Jul 2020

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

Renee

15 Jan 2021

Can MARYLAND notaries notarize a trust? For example, client comes in executing trust by signing the trust itself and then get signature notarized...is this allowed in MARYLAND and if so, are there any limitations to notarizing trust? Thank you!

National Notary Association

15 Jan 2021

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.

Priscilla

31 Jan 2021

I am doing a living trust document tomorrow in California.It will be Two witnesses the couple and their daughter.How much would I charge for this notary?also if they multiple documents that need to be notarized. Do I charge for every person's signature fee for each different document being notarized...For instance if we repeated the same amount of individuals signing /witnessing for 5 different documents..do I charge 15 per signer each different document

National Notary Association

01 Feb 2021

Effective January 1, 2017, the maximum fees that a California Notary may charge for a notarial act are: Notarizing a signature, either by acknowledgment, proof or jurat: $15 per signature of principal (GC 8211[a] and [b]); Administering an oath or affirmation, apart from a jurat: $15 per person (GC 8211[b]); For all services rendered in connection with taking a deposition: $30, plus $7 for the oath and $7 for the certificate (GC 8211[c]); For certifying a copy of a power of attorney, $15 (GC 8211[e]); For a photocopy of a journal entry: $0.30 per page (GC 8206[c]).

Diana R

02 Feb 2021

A couple asked me to notarize their living trust this weekend. He's insisting his attorney told him I can be a witness and notarize as well. I've looked and can't find any reference to this.

National Notary Association

02 Feb 2021

Hello. Please see this article for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/05/notary-tip-requests-to-serve-as-a-document-witness

4fullofluv@gmail.com

11 Apr 2021

2 trustees on a living trust, but only the grantor/trustee can be present for the signing, and there will also be a witness at the signing. Signing in Cali, real property located in Nevada. How should the notary proceed?

National Notary Association

12 Apr 2021

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 R

02 Jul 2021

We closed on a property that is in the name of a trust, so those signing are the trustees of the trust. We usually have them sign as "trustee" and as individual". The notary refused to notarize their signature where they sign as trustee because that does not match their ID. Trustee is not their name, that is only a role in the transaction. Doesn't the notary only need to confirm that the people signing are who they say they are. He says if he notarizes their name as trustee this a violation. Is this correct?

National Notary Association

02 Jul 2021

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.

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