What to Know About Notarizing in Hospitals and Nursing Homes
Hospital notarizations are often stressful, difficult and take a long time, but they don’t have to be! Familiarize yourself with some key points and the process will take only minutes.
Travel fees are due in full even if a notarization does not take place. Notarizations in these situations are often stressful and clients are typically unprepared. By following the guidelines below you will save yourself, your family and loved ones time, stress and additional charges.
1. The signer MUST have his or her VALID (not expired) government issued photo ID.*
2. The signer MUST be able to write his or her own name WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM ANOTHER PERSON. If the signer cannot write a full signature, they must be able to make a distinguishing mark, typically an “X” WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM ANOTHER PERSON AND two witnesses who ARE NOT A PARTY TO THE DOCUMENT (not named in the document and will not benefit from having the document signed) must be present and willing to provide their VALID (not expired) government issued photo ID and have it recorded by the notary.
If a medical or physical condition exists that may limit a signer’s ability to sign or make a distinguishing mark, please have the signer practice BEFORE making the appointment with the notary. You WILL BE CHARGED A TRAVEL FEE EVEN IF NOTARIZATION DOES NOT TAKE PLACE.
If the signer is unable to sign or make a mark, you will need to consult with an attorney to determine how to proceed. We will make absolutely no exceptions to this policy.
3. The signer CAN NOT be under the influence of mind altering substances including pain killers, medications, sedatives, alcohol, etc. They must be alert, aware, and willing to sign the document(s). For the protection of the signer, we will refuse to notarize for any patient (signer) that appears to be mentally unsound or otherwise incapacitated.
4. Have all forms COMPLETELY FILLED OUT, EXCEPT FOR SIGNATURES AND WITNESSES BEFORE THE NOTARY ARRIVES. We cannot instruct you in ANY WAY regarding how to fill out documents and we cannot, by law, answer any legal questions or explain documents to you. We charge a $20 per 15 minute waiting fee after the first 15 minutes if documents, singers and witnesses are not ready.
5. Have any witnesses PRESENT and READY TO SHOW ID when the notary arrives. The notary will have to record every signer’s ID and obtain a fingerprint and signature from each. Keep in mind that witnesses typically cannot be named in the document or benefit from having the document signed. It is a best practice to have unrelated people serve as witnesses. Most hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living homes WILL NOT ALLOW THEIR EMPLOYEES TO WITNESS SIGNINGS. We do not provide witnesses. It is your obligation to find witnesses (if needed). Please read your document to determine whether or not you will need a witness / witnesses.
6. The notary CAN NOT advise you in any way regarding how to fill out forms. We cannot answer legal questions, provide forms, make copies, suggest what forms to use or make corrections to forms. It is our duty only to establish identity and willingness to sign. We cannot notarize blank documents, and we are not responsible for the use or misuse of documents nor are we responsible for documents that are filled out incorrectly including documents that may be unusable by the party(s) requesting the documents. If you have any questions regarding a document’s meaning, application, preparation, legal consequences, etc., you must consult an attorney and/or the person or entity requesting the document. Again, the notary is NOT AN ATTORNEY and can not give legal advice per state law.
If you have any further questions about our policies or services please do not hesitate to call.