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Can I notarize a will that hasn't been reviewed by a lawyer?

Photo of woman with long dark hair on phone. She is looking at papers in her hand. Text on image reads NNA Hotline Tip.

We have clients coming in who said they've updated their will and they need me to notarize it. It seems like an attorney who wrote the will should have done that for them. Is it possible that they did it without an attorney? If so, am I authorized to notarize it for them? — K.F., Ohio

It is possible the will was created without the assistance of an attorney. Yes, you may notarize a will or any other document requiring notarization that was prepared by someone else. When notarizing wills in particular, it is important to remind Notaries not to provide any type of legal advice.

For more information and guidance for Notaries, please read “Notarize a Will” in the NNA Knowledge Center.

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 consultants 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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