When it comes to legal documents, it is recommended to think twice (or more) before submitting it. A legal proceeding is already a lengthy and stressful activity, that’s why every step must be followed in order to avoid delays and other hassles. Many of the important documents in a person’s life need to be notarized. This step is kind of a hassle for some because to get a document notarized, the person needs to find a local notary first.
Documents and transactions that involve a property will most likely need to be notarized. What does notarization do to the document and why it is needed by some organizations and situations? These questions will be discussed in this article.
Why Notarize A Document?
When it comes to properties such as houses and lands, notarizing a document is essential. A notarized document is a document that has been certified by a notary public and ensures that every participant in the transaction is identified, willing, and capable to participate. In short, notarization proves that the identity of both parties are real and not a stolen or fake identity. This is to avoid fraud and ensure proper execution of any document or contract. Financial institutions usually require this when a transaction is needed regarding a property.
A Notarized Document’s Binding Power
The notarization is not literally the one that binds both parties in the contract. When a notarization of a document is done, it is usually done out of a certain requirement. A document or a contract that does not need notarization will be legally binding without notarization. A contract or a document that requires one will only be legally binding after the notarization is finished. A notarized document without notarization is not necessarily legally binding unless all requirements are met.
For example, A agreed to lend money to B in exchange for B’s house as collateral and made a contract.
-The contract is executable as is because the requirement doesn’t require a notary.
-However, if A’s contract requires a notary, A will not be required to give money to B, as well as B to give the house to A, as long as the contract is not notarized.
– If the contract is notarized, but other requirements are still unfulfilled, the contract is still not legally binding.
Steps In Notarizing A Document
- Visit a notary public and bring documents that prove your identity. A government-issued ID, a driver’s license, or a passport is usually enough to prove your identity. The requirements are different from state to state so be sure to check out the requirements in your state. A notary public can decline to notarize a document if he or she is not confident about your identity.
- When you’re in the presence of the notary public, present your proof of identification. Once you are verified, sign the document in front of the notary public. Don’t bring a signed copy of the document as the notary public needs to see you sign the document in person. The officiating individual will then sign the document and put his or her official seal.
- There is a notary fee because they need funds to keep operating. In addition, these individuals adapt to the changing law environment, as well as keep records of their transactions. Depending on where you go, the fee can be as low as $5 or as high as $20.
Who Is Authorized To Notarize Documents?
A notary public is a public officer that is constituted by law to handle public non-conscientious matters that involve estates, power-of-attorney, and businesses. The first step in notarizing a document is to find a notary public that is operating legitimately. When looking for a notary public near you, you can check the American Society of Notaries. Upon checking the stamp, you should also see the notary name, commission number, and the date when the commission number expires.
Where To Find A Notary Public?
A notary public can be found in different places, based on where they operate. Usually, they can be found near institutions and organizations that require notary services such as banks, registry offices, town or city hall, courthouses, and even on a university’s law department. There are also online locators that can be used to track a legal notary public.