Many people are under the impression that a notary does not have to go through the process of giving a notary letter. This is not true, in fact notaries do have to sign an oath before taking an oath on their official legal documents such as birth certificates and other types of documents. A notary is an attorney and they will be taking these legal documents into their own hands when signing the letter. Notaries typically get around this process by having a temporary secretary or agent to take it out for them.
The secret to properly passing off a notary as one that is trustworthy in the attorney-client relationship, is to avoid having any individuals sign the signature line as their own. What happens here is, someone has signed their name as their own, and that person now has to deal with the penalty of having it written down on their permanent record as someone else’s signature. In most states, an administrative penalty is assessed on any people that have any type of alteration of signatures to their records. Therefore, they would have to pay a fine for every alteration of signatures made on their legal documents.
Having one of your company names and/or your lawyer’s name put on a document as the signatory name is perfectly fine, but what does it mean for you if someone makes a mistake? If that individual then gets in trouble, will the penalties apply to you or your attorney? It would be best to simply remove the attorney or company name from the signature line and never have an issue with notary over signing the signature line as their own.
When a notary is passing off legal documents as your own, you can use this as leverage to ensure that they will not forge your signature or others signatures on your files. If you are unable to trust them to not sign as your own, then you will never be able to trust them to sign anything else as well. Trust and due diligence are extremely important when dealing with anyone in this line of work.
To gain a much better understanding on how a notary can legally sign your documents, you will need to look at the process from the standpoint of an individual that has no experience at all with the process. You may feel that your attorney should go through the process of signing your documents. This could be a good idea if you have strong feelings about an issue and have already taken the steps to file a lawsuit, however, you may also be in a position where you need to be on a form quickly. If you need this quickly, it may be best to have an attorney to sign the form rather than simply hand off the form to an attorney and be handed a certificate of a notary on the very same day.
Individuals who have absolutely no experience or knowledge with the law in regards to taking notarial documents may not know what they are doing. As mentioned above, it is important to carefully consider the penalties that are associated with people altering signatures on legal documents, which include any possible fines or potential ramifications that come along with having one’s signature altered.
If an attorney signs your notary letter, and the notary signs the attorney’s letter, you may want to seriously consider the ramifications of doing so. Take the time to fully understand the penalties associated with having your signature altered on your legal documents, as well as the amount of time it will take to seek legal counsel to seek damages if the attorney and the notary get in a dispute regarding the signature.
From a common sense perspective, it would be best to never get involved with a notary unless you feel that you truly trust the individual with whom you will be dealing. It is also very important to remember that a notary who signs someone else’s name as their own will have a personal interest in notifying you and the notary services they are associated with to ensure that they do not alter the signature in the future.