Tips and Procedures for Signing a Notarial Deed
A notarial deed is a legal document regarding the transfer of property ownership. This document transfers the title from one owner to a new owner (residential or commercial) and includes a description of the property, names of the parties involved and is signed by all parties. This document is then filed as an official record with the city/county where the property is located. A deed attested by a notary public means the notary public observed the individual(s) signing the notarial deed and properly identified the signer(s).
One of the primary reasons for signing a notarial deed is to prevent fraudulent real estate transactions. While a notary public does not analyze the deed for accuracy, they do review the content relating to their notarial act and can refuse to sign the document if it does not meet the standards binding the notary public. Pandadoc created a great article on Deed Notarization.
All notarial deeds are required to be signed by a notary public for the reasons stated above. Keep in mind, witnesses are also typically required. In some states, the notary public can act as a witness. The notary will observe all parties involved in the signing of the deed to make sure nothing is signed outside of the presence of a notary public.
In some cases, a notarial certificate may be asked of you when conducting legal affairs in this manner. A notarial certificate is a written statement that includes your signature and seal certifying the facts of a notarial act. Note that some states have specific language while others allow any wording as long as certain elements are included.
When you are completing a notarial certificate, the information typically required is the location, date and time of where the notarization took place, the names of those parties that were identified and signed the document which you notarized, and what type of identification was presented. In other cases, an acknowledgment may be required. This is a declaration of the signer that they understand the content of the legal document they are signing.
A deed to a property is a very important legal document. For that reason, it must be accurate and completed without any errors or ambiguity. Mistakes can possibly invalidate the deed, cause legal trouble for the parties involved including yourself and call into question who has rights to the property. Some things that you want to ensure are in place to avoid these issues are who can witness the document and how many witnesses are needed, correct placement of your notary seal, and completeness of the notarial signing inclusive of additional documentation required such as a certificate or acknowledgement.
The responsibility of a notary public to execute their notarial services correctly is critical role. A notary public must understand what is required as well as have knowledge of the document being signed. Understanding your role and knowing what it is you are signing and what is needed during the signing is the most important step in ensuring you will execute your role correctly and limit your risk of errors. Do not skip steps or rush.
You must be very sure that while providing direction you are not advising the signer in any legal manner. Double-check everything. You want to look for completeness and accuracy always. You are in control of the transaction and by taking your time you can avoid the majority of risks that would negatively impact the signing and notarization of documents.
In summary, notarial deeds are important legal documents that require a high level of accuracy and attention to detail. As a notary, it’s crucial to remain impartial and not provide any legal advice to the signer. By ensuring that all documents are complete and accurate, notaries can help prevent any potential issues or disputes that may arise in the future. With proper care and attention, notaries can provide a valuable service to their clients and contribute to the integrity of the legal system.
Please see our article on Mobile Notary Services.