Notarizing a Power of Attorney
This document has different forms with different requirements. They can be used for various reasons; most commonly, insurance, medical and financial purposes. Being knowledgeable about this document can help you to avoid costly mistakes when notarizing.
Sometimes family members are under the assumption that notaries can force an individual to sign a document. You should never force someone to sign a document or continue with the notarization if you feel the client might be under duress.
POA's are not a "fake it till you make it" type of transaction. As a notary, you definitely need to be resourceful because no two scenarios are the same and you don't want to get stuck in a situation where you don't know how to do something. You may need to be able to identify possible signs of fraudulent activity or elder abuse. In situations like this, you would need to use your best judgment and maintain control.
Notary education is important because it can teach you best practices on what to do when you have to think on your feet and there is no one available to ask questions to.
Some red flags to look for with Power of Attorney notarization requests:
1. Is the patient competent and willing to sign
2. There is only one copy of the paperwork (not a big deal but could be suspicious)
3. Has everyone had a chance to read through and agree to all the terms of the paperwork
4. Hesitation to sign any paperwork and a lot of back and forth between individuals present
When in doubt, it’s ok to get out of a situation if you feel like someone might possibly be getting taken advantage of. You might lose out on the notarization fee, but you should still get the travel fee.