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Are There Guidelines For Notarizing For Family Members?

New Hotline Resized 3My mom wants to sign a power of attorney to make medical decisions for my grandma. Am I allowed to notarize their signatures? — K.A, Iowa

According to Iowa Code 9B.4, the answer depends on whether you or your spouse is a party to or have a direct beneficial interest in the document. If yes, then you may not notarize your mother’s signature. However, as a professional standard of practice, we recommend that you find an impartial person to notarize your grandmother’s signature. This would better protect the notarization from possible legal challenges

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, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Robert K Tompsett

23 Sep 2019

Michigan - Notary Public is prohibited from performing notarizing service to any family members, I.E. brother, sister, mother, father, spouse, aunt, uncle, inlaws, ancestors, descendants.

Patricia Todd

03 Apr 2023

NH Notarizing for brother inlaws business.. Father in law power of attorney.

National Notary Association

04 Apr 2023

Hello. New Hampshire does not have a specific prohibition against notarizing for family members. However, the state does prohibit notarizing your own signature (RSA 455:2-a) and the state Notary Public Manual recommends: “All notarial officers … have both a statutory and common law duty to avoid conflicts of interest in the performance of their duties … In general, a public official must never act in his or her own interest in performing official acts; official acts must always be done solely in the interest of the public.” In any case where you are uncertain whether notarizing could create a potential conflict of interest, the safest course is to have a different, uninvolved Notary perform the notarization instead.

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