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   Forums - California Notary Forums - Notarization For Extended Family  
Thread Topic: Notarization For Extended Family
Topic Originator: Evangelina Arvizu
Post Date August 10, 2009 @ 10:41 PM

Evangelina Arvizu
112 Posts
(Beverly Hills,, CA)
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Notarization For Extended Family 08/10/2009  10:41 PM

This is for this group, to respond, and discuss. (HINT: the Answer really is easy): A former sister-in-law bequeaths (the former sister-in-law considers herself to be, and is called "sister" although divorced over 40 years from the blood relative who created the original relationship) a very small bit of personal property that is to be final upon death, and has left the personal property in the home of the sister. Both want to be sure that no one will claim the personal property as rightfully another's, after the demise of the sister. Sister has no relatives, only a long term companion, and a charity that is identified in her will / Estate. Sister recently finalizes a Revocable Living Trust, for tax purposes, and no where on any of those documents does the name of the sister (who is also a California Notary Public), appear in any of those documents; When asked to notarize signatures pertaining to those Trust documents, including an Advanced Medical/Healthcare Directive, all of which are PART of that sister's TRUST, and not part of the will, or Estate, the Notary had to stop, and think and re-read her handbook. The Notary re-read, and believing that it is improper to notarize her "sister's" signature -- since, someone might interpret "beneficiary" of the personal property (again, which is already in the possession of the Notary and former sister-in-law), as being reasonably considered "a benefit" to the Notary. While reviewing the California Notary Handbook (2009), the sister read: "A notary public is not prohibited from notarizing for relatives or others, unless doing so would provide a direct financial or beneficial interest to the notary public. With California’s community property law, care should be exercised if notarizing for a spouse or a domestic partner. A notary public would have a direct financial or beneficial interest to a transaction in the following situations (Government Code section 8224): • If a notary public is named, individually, as a principal to a financial transaction. • If a notary public is named, individually, as any of the following to a real property transaction: beneficiary, grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, vendor, vendee, lessor, or lessee. A notary public does not have a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction if a notary public is acting in the capacity of an agent, employee, insurer, attorney, escrow, or lender for a person having a direct financial or beneficial interest in the transaction. If in doubt as to whether or not to notarize, the notary public should seek the advice of an attorney." What do you think is the Answer?

Lisa Thornton
233 Posts
(Upland, CA)
RE: Notarization For Extended Family08/11/2009  11:41 AM

Your scenario is the prime reason I stay away from notarizing signatures for anyone related by blood or marriage.  I send them to the AAA office, UPS Store, or refer them  to a Notary directory online and have them search for their own Notary.  Therefore, I NEVER, EVER have to think about, wonder, ponder, contemplate or guess whether I "should or shouldn't".  Let them spend the ten, twenty or thirty bucks now, to save themselves a world of headaches later, should something like your scenario ever be challenged in the future.  JMHO is continually working to improve your online experience. Please call 1 8 8 8 2 6 3 1 9 7 7 if you would like customer service assistance. Thank you.