Don’t Let All That Partying Prevent You From Getting The Notary You Need For Monday!

Also, it may be a good idea to get those important documents relating to family business notarized.  Independence Day (July 4, 2015) is a time full of family, friends, fun during this celebration of Independence.  It’s an even better time to situate estate and personal affairs by getting mutual agreements and other important documents notarized.

People ask us all the time about whether a notary is necessary for their paperwork.  Well, in some cases it is not a requirement, but is good to have should any issues arise or should the arrangement or agreement lead to litigation.

Let’s take for example two scenarios:

Scenario #1: Terminally ill Ms. Jones writes a will and stores it in her basement. No one knows about this will until after she passes away. The will was NOT notarized, merely drafted by Ms. Jones herself.  Two weeks later, another typed will (we’ll say it was falsely written by relatives) comes into the picture. The daughter of Ms. Jones knows how to sign her mother’s signature very well.  Neither document was recorded in public record.  In this situation, it is hard to determine which will is valid.

Scenario #2: Ms. Jones, well before she becomes terminally ill has a will document drafted by her attorney and notarized by an unrelated, willing notary public. This notary, by examination of Ms. Jones’ government-issued identification, determines that Ms. Jones is who she says she is and in turn notarizes the signature of Ms. Jones on the will document she had drafted.

Which scenario do you think will work better in Ms. Jones’ favor?


One thought on “Don’t Let All That Partying Prevent You From Getting The Notary You Need For Monday!

  1. In Tennessee, the handwritten will would be called a holographic will and it could be “proven” on the basis of 2 unrelated witnesses who showed up in Court and swore that they recognized his handwriting and that was it; or, if he had 2 unrelated and non-benefiting witnesses there when he wrote it and they signed a statement that they saw him write it and he was of sound mind at the time. However, the later-dated will, especially if it were typed up, might be presumed to be valid just because it was dated later — but the witness affidavits on the earlier-dated one could tip the balance back to the earlier-dated one.

    It is always a good idea to have two subscribing witnesses present when the person signing the will does so and have them swear an affidavit that they witnessed the testator sign the will and to do so immediately after the testator signs it in their presence — and to have both the will and their affidavit notarized. After that, you may want to take the notarized will and affidavit to the County Register’s office and get them recorded, thereby making them a matter of public record. That way, even if a disappointed heir destroys the originals, whoever is named as beneficiary in it can get a certified copy from the Register and take it to probate court.

    None of this intended to be legal advice or opinion. I am a former legal secretary and am merely providing information about how we handled things of this sort when I worked for an attorney who specialized in trusts, wills, estates and taxes; and information that he gave me when I asked him questions about what we were doing. In short, the foregoing is legal information (which anyone can give if they know it) — not legal advice or legal opinions.

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