Information on Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney frequently cause Notaries to wonder how the paper should be signed. Whose name is written in the certificate’s text? Here are some of the most often asked questions regarding powers of attorney.

Is A Power of Attorney a Legal Document

A power of attorney is a legal document authorizing someone to make decisions and sign papers on behalf of someone else. The individual who grants a power of attorney is typically referred to as the “principal,” who designates another person as “the agent” or “attorney in fact” to sign documents on behalf of the principle.

How should a power of attorney form be notarized?

Depending on which type of notarial act is necessary or what the principal requests, you would typically follow the standard procedures for finishing an acknowledgment or conducting a jurat when notarizing a signature on a power of attorney document. For whatever notarial act you carry out, you will adhere to the fundamental notarial procedures:

  • Prior to signing, make sure the signer is present
  • As required by the rules of your state, make sure the signer provides adequate identification
  • In California, notaries are obliged by law to obtain the signer’s thumbprint for the journal entry when notarizing a power of attorney document; complete your entry
  • Determine if the signer is willing and informed
  • If an acknowledgment is required, have them confirm their signature. Give the signer an oath or affirmation if the document is a jurat
  • Fill out the necessary notarial certificate