• Can a Mobile Notary Notarize a Will?

    March 13, 2019
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  • The duties of a notary public are clearly outlined in Maryland State law, but these some laws often vary from state to state. As a notary, it is our responsibility to learn the laws from the Maryland rules and to perform only the notarial acts that we are legally permitted to perform.

    Our role as a notary public is to verify the identity of the signer of a document. Our main job is to authenticate signatures, which helps prevent forgery and ID theft. And unless we were a licensed attorney, the most important mistake to avoid is giving legal advice to a signer, which is prohibited in our capacity as a only a notary.

    Listed below are some do’s and don’ts that every RCI notary follow:

    We Do:

    • Explain what documents we can notarize when asked
    • Verify the identity of the document’s signer(s)
    • Affix our notary seal to the document notarized
    • Learn what we can and can’t do as a notary
    • Memorize the proper wording of our state requires for jurats and certificates of acknowledgment
    • Familiarize ourselves with Maryland state’s notary laws

    We Don’t:

    • Provide legal advice or attempt to explain what a law means
    • Proceed with a notarization if the signer cannot be positively identified through personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
    • Offer an opinion about the legality or effect of a document
    • Draft a document for signers or assist them in creating one
    • Recommend the type of notarization required
    • Backdate or forward date a notarization
    • Fill in information on a document on the signer’s behalf
    • Sign and seal a blank notarial certificate

    Once again, it is critical that our notaries never offer legal advice or prepare legal documents unless we happen to be a licensed attorney. Doing so could make us criminally liable for practicing law without a license.