“Two separate notarial act processes were completed at Greenville Memorial Hospital on May 11th and May 12, 2016 for separate patients.”
It takes time to have the notarial process completed correctly. It can take up to 30 minutes to an hour of time to properly execute a document or suite of documents at the hospital or assisted living facility. If there are external factors, for instance, the need to find a witness for the transaction or waiting on family members to arrive, the process may take even longer.
Facility visits take time… and patience. You will find, as a notary public, that some signers you see will have physical concerns that impede their ability to sign. However, NEVER PREJUDGE how fast or slow a signer may sign. A signer may be in the hospital or assisted living but be able to sign documents with as much clarity as if there was nothing amiss. Others may have interruptions in the handwriting process.
Hospital and facility staff members have varying degrees of knowledge of the notarial process. Area facility notaries are sometimes barred from notarizing documents on behalf of patients in the facility in which they work due to potential and ACTUAL conflicts of interest.
When entering a facility and signing a document, you will deal with different levels of comfort. Many signings face tense situations; passing of loved ones, home foreclosures, divorce, revocation of powers of attorney. Each situation you face must be taken into consideration. Yes, you are there in a professional capacity, however, sometimes you, as an outsider looking in, will need to appropriately gauge a situation so that you can spot signing ‘red flags’ – the main ‘red flag’ being coercion, a signer being held against their will or feeling pressured to sign a document.
Thinking about some of the other situations that may occur, please comment below and provide feedback on some issues you may feel are important when notarizing documents in a hospital, assisted living, nursing or rehabilitation setting.