When Do I Need a Notary?

When Do I Need a Notary?

Have you ever completed paperwork online or through the mail that required a notary seal? Maybe you’ve wondered what a notary is and why they are needed. Notaries are meant to be impartial witnesses to the signing of key documents. Anyone can become a notary. Each state has its own notary application Florida requirements.

The main task of a notary is to verify that the people signing paperwork are who they say they are. They also inspect the documents and answer any questions about what is being signed. Although this does not ensure the documents are legal, having a notary seal gives authenticity to the papers, which is important in legal disputes. There are three different types of documents that will usually require a notary seal.

Financial Records

Most banks and investment companies ask for documents to be notarized, which is why you can usually find a notary on call at these institutions. Statements and credit documents will likely require a notary stamp. 

You will also need to get financial records notarized when completing real estate transactions. In this case, you may find a notary working at the title company overseeing the transaction. Common forms like loan documents, property deeds, and mortgage closing documents all require authentication.

Legal Records

Legal records that require a notary center around ownership and responsibility. For example, custody agreements, executorships, and power of attorney documents need to be stamped. These give one person responsible for another. Therefore, it is extremely important that both parties understand what they are signing. The same goes for wills and trusts, which determine ownership after a loved one passes away.

Business Records

When a business is formed, the articles of incorporation will be notarized. Once a company starts doing business, it might ask that vendor and employment contracts be notarized. Many commercial leases, construction agreements, and loan agreements also fall into this category.