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Can Someone Swear An Oath On Another Person’s Behalf?

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Can we notarize jurats for a signer acting as an attorney in fact for someone else? For example, can a person with power of attorney to sign documents on behalf of a principal sign the principal’s name in the Notary’s presence and take an oath or affirmation on the principal’s behalf? — K.T., Baldwin Park, CA

One person cannot swear an oath on behalf of another person. Consequently, performing a jurat is not permitted in a situation where the signer is signing as a representative of another individual. For example, a Notary cannot administer an oath by asking, “Does your mother swear that the statements in the document are true?”

The state of Illinois is an exception. Illinois permits a signer to make a “verification upon oath or affirmation” (a declaration under oath or affirmation that a statement is true) while acting in a representative capacity, according to page 23 of the Illinois Notary Public Handbook.

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

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10 Jun 2015

Although the signer who's signing in POA capacity for another cannot take oath for another, he can take the oath under his own name and the Jurat would show only his name, not who he/she is signing for. It would seem that a loan signing could never take place with a POA signer unless the lender would accept notary certificates in the name of the signer not who he/she is signing for.

Roger Rill

16 Jul 2015

That's exactly what happens, Bob. The signer who is appearing is sworn/affirmed, and the jurat notary certificate is completed. If both parties are shown in the certificate, then the absent person's name is lined through and initialed. The POA signer's signature for the absent person is then only acknowledged on a loose certificate, and attached to the document.

Susan S.

16 Jul 2015

I am located in California and work for an estate planning attorney. We had a client who executed a Durable PoA for Property Management appointing a relative as her agent. Subsequently she became totally disabled and for years he had to sign as her agent, including a time or two on a deed to transfer property INTO her trust(s). Later, when those properties were sold, the co-trustees signed and of course these deeds also had to be notarized. There were never any problems recording these deeds. If the questioner was ONLY asking about documents requiring a JURAT (as opposed to an acknowledgment), I can understand the response, but you're not saying an acknowledgment cannot be completed, are you?

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