Senior Citizens Special Notary Requests

elderly notary cathy wong nathan red tomatoe need san jose campbell mobile document serviceIt’s a difficult call – both to take and receive. I pick up the phone and the person on the other end is often in a panic. There’s a document that *MUST* be notarized, signed by their elderly parent or relative who is in poor health.

These situations are difficult, because the signer often may not fully understand what is going on – perhaps they are days or weeks away from dying. Yet, as often happens in life, there are legal, financial or real estate documents that must be signed by the elderly individual to give the adult child or caretaker the ability to handle the affairs of the aging person.

No Coersion

When I get these sorts of requests, as a Notary Public, I must be careful that the person signing the document is doing so of their own free will. It is a felony to coerce another person to sign a document giving up financial or legal control. Luckily, I’ve never witnessed this happen, but if I do, I am required to report the action to the police as well as the California Secretary of State so that they may investigate the matter involving the notarized signature.

In order to complete the notarization, I need be able to identify (ID) the signer. In the case of an elderly signer, the biggest problem I have is that what ever form of identification they may have had, has most likely expired. If you care for an elderly individual it is a good idea to have them apply for and keep an active and valid California ID card. The card is not a license to drive (although it looks similar) and is valid for 10 years.

In cases where an identification card is not available – as Notary Public I can use what are known as “Credible Witnesses”. If I cancredible witness cathy wong nathan red tomatoe provide id vouch eldery identy notary process bay area locate two (2) credible witnesses who can provide me with their own valid identification card and vouch that the signer is who they say they are, then I can complete the signature notarization. This can be handy when the elderly document signer has no valid ID.

The difficulty with using this method, is that neither of the credible witnesses can have a beneficial interest in the document – that is they can not stand to gain something, typically financial, after the document is notarized. For those signers living in a retirement community, my task of locating credible witnesses is often a bit easier, as in house care-takers or maintenance people can often provide the required statements.

Planning Ahead

plan ahead notary eldery cathy wong nathan red tomatoes bay area san jose retirement home health care workerIf you need a document notarized by your elderly parent or relative, you should do a little pre-planning before contacting the notary. You should locate the signer’s valid picture ID – State Drivers License or ID card or Passport. If neither of these documents are available, locating two credible witnesses (neighbors or caretakers) should be your next step.

Finally, have a talk with the signer about the document that needs to be notarized – they should understand as best they can, why they are signing and why the Notary Public is helping with the document preparation.

Call Me For Help

If you have questions about the notarization process – give me a call or drop me an email – I’m here to help!