New Jersey Mobile Notary Service has over 10 years experience with Will Signings. We receive assignments from the most well known respected Trust and Estate Attorneys and Law Firms located throughout New Jersey. We travel both to the conference room of law firms as well as the home or business of their clients. We also under the right circumstances work with individuals who are completing a will signing without the use of an attorney provided the will has pre-printed notarial certificates.
A will is valid only if certain stringent and strict requirements are met. Some of these requirements from the Notary’s standpoint include: the notary cannot be a witness, notary reads the attestation clause to the witness and takes their oath and the notary lists the witness’s names and addresses. At no time does the notary engage in the unauthorized practice of law in any way, shape or form. The two articles below: from the National Notary Association and the New York Law Journal expand upon these important issues.
National Notary Association
Notarize a Will
A last will and testament is a complex and sensitive legal document that can take different forms, depending on state law. Some wills legally require notarization, some do not and may actually be invalidated if they are notarized, and some allow notarization as one of several witnessing options. Often, it is the signatures of witnesses to the will that will be notarized rather than that of the maker of the will, known as the testator.
Notaries must proceed carefully when asked to notarize a will, which can be invalidated by the slightest variance from strict statutory rules. A will should never be notarized if the testator is asking the Notary questions about how to proceed. Rather, the testator should be following authoritative legal instructions and a certificate or certificates must be provided for the Notary to complete.
Notaries must never offer advice on how to execute a will, because they could be held liable for a named beneficiary’s failure to inherit assets if the will is improperly done and therefore invalidated. A notary should avoid giving any type of advice about what type of notarization to get, what type of legal paperwork to get, or how to fill it out. You should not draft legal documents or give any advice on legal matters.
New York Law Journal Article
Our function at a will ceremony includes requesting the physical presence of the signer and witnesses and properly identifying the signer and witnesses. We verify the identities fo the signers. We read the attestation clause to the witnesses and take their oaths. We record their name, address, and phone number in a record book in case we are ever asked about the transaction and are able to prove audit evidence in the event of a dispute.
Wills are highly sensitive probate documents that determine how a person’s assets will be distributed after his or her death. We exercise extreme caution and due diligence when acting as Notary Public for a will signing. We recognize an improperly drafted will can be declared null and void. This can occur for many reasons including lack of due execution of testamentary instrument, improper notarization of affidavits, sworn statement not done correctly, lack of statutory compliance, or invalid attestation clause.
Failure to follow the proper procedures of notarization can carry real consequences. In the event of a discrepancy or dispute, probate courts will base their decision and judgment on facts offered as evidences not hearsay, speculations and gestures. We take our responsibility very seriously making every effort to perform our duties in accordance with the law. Our level of professionalism, experience and attention to detail make us the Notary Company of choice “will signings”.