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Notary Bulletin

How Do I Notarize A Power Of Attorney?

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I have not notarized a Power of Attorney before and would like some information concerning how to notarize one correctly.C. M., Colorado

You handle a power of attorney that requires notarization like any other document. You must require the signer (called the principal) to be physically present, identify this signer according to Colorado law and complete a full journal entry for the notarization.

Colorado law requires all documents to be complete, so you must check for any blank spaces before you notarize the document. According to the Secretary of State, you also should assess the signer’s “competence” or understanding of the document as well as their willingness to sign it.

Most powers of attorney will have a preprinted notarial certificate. If the document has one, read the certificate to determine whether you must perform an acknowledgment or a jurat.

If by chance the power of attorney does not have a notarial certificate, you must ask the signer to tell you whether to perform an acknowledgment or jurat. You may briefly describe these two notarial acts and show the signer sample certificate forms for each, but then the signer must direct you which to perform.

Take your time so that you follow these tips. Powers of attorney are important documents with potentially life-saving consequences.

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

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

Related Articles:

How To Handle A Notarization Involving An ‘Attorney In Fact’

5 Steps To A Proper Notarization

A Notary’s Role In Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation

Additional Resources:

NNA Webinars: Commonly Asked Questions

Notary Essentials

View All: Hotline Tips


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02 Oct 2018

looking around

Kathleen Susan Vineyard

04 Feb 2021

Hello. I'm a relatively new signing agent. I received a request from a elder care facility to notarize a POA for a resident who doesn't speak and is mentally impaired. The facility wants to obtain a POA that would designate the principal's sister as her representative. Is that even possible? How are these things managed? Thanks.

National Notary Association

05 Feb 2021

Hello. We're sorry, but we cannot provide information or advice on the preparation of legal documents such as powers of attorney. However, it is reasonable for you to have concerns about a notarization request if you have been told the signer has issues that may affect their awareness or ability to communicate directly with you. You may wish to contact the facility to request more details about whose signature you would be notarizing and if the signer will be able to communicate directly with you. If you have reason to believe the signer will not be able to communicate directly with you or may not understand what's happening or is not signing willingly, you should not proceed with the notarization.

Joab Stieglitz

08 Apr 2021

I have been contacted to do a remote notarization POA for someone on Khazakstan for their agent to perform some banking business in DC on their behalf. Do I need the agent present for the RON? Also, I will be meeting with the agent to notarize the banking documents when they arrive in DC. Are there any red flags in this arrangement?

National Notary Association

09 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.

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