Notarizing a Power of Attorney: Why, How, and Where to Get One
Have you been tasked with notarizing a power of attorney (POA)? A POA isn't just any document: it's a powerful one to get notarized as it grants a person or organization the ability to act on your behalf in the event you’re not able to do so.
Here are the basics everyone should know when notarizing a power of attorney.
What basics should I know about a power of attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is indeed a powerful document. A POA can grant someone or an organization the ability to act on your behalf, also known as the principal or grantor, if you’re not able to now or in the future.
When a power of attorney is written, it will generally name someone the attorney-in-fact (sometimes referred to as an agent in some states) who will be acting on your behalf. Think of this as someone who is authorized to conduct any business, settle legal matters, or sign any document on behalf of the individual.
When selecting an agent, you enter into a fiduciary agreement with them, meaning they should always act in your best interest. Your agent can be a family member, friend, or attorney. But in any case, when selecting an agent, be sure to choose someone you trust.
What types of powers of attorney are there?
Not all POAs are one size fits all. And in good right: a power of attorney can grant an agent some big responsibilities. As an agent, you’ll be able to make financial decisions, settle claims, or even close on a home.
Here are a few common types of POAs that we notarize:
A general power of attorney is the broadest type of power of attorney to grant an agent. When granted a general POA, your powers could include entering contracts, buying or selling real estate, or settling claims.
If you’re looking to grant someone a more specific power to exercise, limited or special power of attorney is a good fit. You can specify exactly what you’d like your agent to do on your behalf. A good rule of thumb is to be as specific as possible when identifying a special POA.
Why does a POA need to be notarized?
Appointing an agent through a power of attorney is an incredibly important document for anyone to execute. In notarizing a power of attorney, the notary is authenticating the identity of the person signing.
Notaries play an important role when executing a power of attorney. A notary public’s job when notarizing a power of attorney is centered around the acknowledgement, which is attached to the POA. The notary must affirm that the principal appeared before the notary of their own free will, that the terms of the POA are intended, and that the signature is that of the principal. The principal signs the POA and the notary signs and stamps the document.
The requirements for notarizing a power of attorney vary from state to state so it’s always a good rule of thumb to check your state’s rules when executing your POA.
Where can I get a power of attorney notarized?
If you’re ready to execute your power of attorney, one of the most convenient ways to get it notarized is through an online notarization. A commissioned, electronic notary public will guide you through the acknowledgements and the signing process to ensure a seamless signing experience.
Ready to get your power of attorney notarized? Get started below or head here to learn more about power of attorney forms.