How to Notarize a Power of Attorney (POA)

What is a Power of Attorney?  

A Power of Attorney is a written authorization that allows a person to act or designate another person to conduct private affairs or conduct some other legal matters on their behalf. The person authorized to act is called an agent, grantor, or principal.

A Power of Attorney has to be signed in the presence of a licensed Notary Public for the document to be valid. A Notary Public is responsible for witnessing the signer’s signature and ensuring that they are signing willingly. In New York State, under the new law, the person designating a principal must sign the Power of Attorney document in the presence of two witnesses, one of which can be the notary.

power of attorney

Reasons a Power of Attorney Document May Be Required 

People may choose to get a POA when:

  • Making a financial decision
  • Making medical decisions
  • Making end-of-life decisions and choosing a beneficiary or legal representative to make legal decisions for their affairs
  • Protecting or claiming a personal estate and assets
  • Operating business interests or transactions

How to Complete a Notarized Power of Attorney

The first step is for the notary to complete the acknowledgement form, which should be attached to the Power of Attorney document if the notorial wording is not already printed on the document. The POA should identify the Principal, who is the person granting legal authority to a personal representative that they choose. The document should include the person’s full legal name, and it should detail what authority is being handed over pertaining to financial and/or medical affairs.

Next, the notary is to affirm that the signer appeared in person to acknowledge and sign willingly, that the terms of the Power of Attorney document are intended as written, and that their signature is the correct signature that belongs on the document. The Power of Attorney document should be titled “Power of Attorney.”  The POA should state the date that the document goes into effect or specify the circumstance in which it would be enacted.

The next step is to witness the signature of the Power of Attorney document and notarize the document by signing and imprinting the notary stamp or seal on it.

power of attorney

The final step is for the notary to record the notarization in their notary journal if this is a state requirement. The requirements for notarizing a power of attorney document will vary from state to state. Please check your state rules and regulations for executing a POA and adhere to your state laws.

Are Witnesses Required for a POA Transaction?

The required presence of witnesses during a POA signing will vary from state to state. In New York State and under the old law in New York, witnesses were not required to execute a POA. Under the new law, the person who is designating an agent or principal still needs to have their signature notarized, but they must also sign the POA in the presence of two witnesses, one of whom can be the notary.

The witnesses cannot be individuals named in the document as agents or receive gifts from the agent at a later date. It is important to select witnesses who have no financial interest in the POA and who are disinterested parties.

It’s possible, as a notary, you might be requested to witness a signature. Checkout our article on When can a Notary Also be a Witness?

Do I need to Hire an Attorney to Have a POA Notarized?

Most Powers of Attorney documents are not required to have a lawyer notarize the document. This could change depending on the POA documents and the contract terms. There may be instances where further execution of the POA document is required. Typically, notaries are licensed and knowledgeable about notarizing POAs without an attorney.

What is the Fee to Have a POA Notarized?

When notarizing a POA, the notary should follow their state laws regarding the fee amount that are permitted to charge for an acknowledgement or Jurat. For New York State, the total fee is $2.00 per signature for an acknowledgement and $2.00 per signature for a Jurat.  You can charge more if you are acting as a mobile notary and traveling to the client to perform the notarization.

A Power of Attorney is a very common document that most notaries see on a regular basis.  It is very important as a notary to familiarize yourself with this type of document and make sure you are current on your state’s rules pertaining to notarization requirements and other guidelines related to a Power of Attorney.

For more insight, americanbar.org has a great article on Power of Attorney.

Kim Jones Notary

Kim Jones

Notary Roc City Notary Services

Kim Jones is a veteran mobile Notary and Notary Signing Agent with over 15 years of experience. Kim is the Owner and Operator of Roc City Notary Services in upstate NY.

Notary Jane: Kim Jones
Instagram: @roccitynotary
Website: RocCityNotary.com

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