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What to Know When You Need Something Notarized

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Many documents need to be notarized for them to be legal. However, if you've never had anything notarized, you may not know what to do. If you would like to learn more, keep reading.

What Does Notarizing Do?

With so much fraud, it's easy for someone to lie and cheat the system. For this reason, notarization exists as a way to deter fraud. The process ensures that the signature on the document is legitimately yours. It also ensures you weren't under duress or being intimidated at the time of signing the document.

How Do You Get Something Notarized?

The process of getting something notarized isn't difficult, but it does require you to physically meet the notary, so it can't be done via email or phone. Luckily, many places offer notary public services, such as banks, post offices, attorney's offices, etc.

You will need to bring a valid ID and unsigned documents. The notary will ensure you understand what you are signing before having you sign, and they must witness the signature. They will then stamp the document with their notary seal, which indicates to courts and everyone else that the document is official and legal. Notary publics must also keep a list of all the documents they notarize. Therefore, they will likely have you write your name, signature, and thumbprint in the notary journal.

What Are Common Documents That Need Notarizing?

Many documents need to be notarized before they can be enforced, such as wills, trusts, power of attorney documents, custody agreements, vendor contracts, commercial leases, employment contracts, and much more. Typically, you will be informed if the document needs to be notarized, so you don't have to guess.

Depending on the type of document, a notary may perform a different act. For example, attorneys may need a jurat for affidavits, depositions, and interrogations, so they can be used in court. Power of attorney documents, trusts, real estate deeds, and similar documents need acknowledgment, which simply means everything is correct. If you need a copy of a document like a birth record or college degree, you may need to ask your notary about certified copies. This ensures that the copy comes from a legal, credible document.

Notarizing a document ensures that it will be taken seriously in the future. It is often legally required and can be done at many locations. If you would like to know more, contact a notary public in your area today.