­­­In the age of identity theft and fraud, ensuring safe and accurate means of validation has become of utmost importance. Documents involving the bank, financial institutions, and the courts require individuals to make signatures to confirm their true identities and ensure they are doing so willingly without the possibility of coercion or intoxication. Such documents are referred to as notarized documents or letters.

Signing notarized letters or documents can be crucial for a number of reasons. If you are a business owner, it can help ensure all documents are legal and genuine, reflecting good business practices. More importantly, it serves a much higher purpose by preventing fraudulent practices and identity theft, any of which can threaten your business transactions and security.

In this article, we look at what a notarized letter is, a few examples of notarized letter templates, and what steps you can take to have a document notarized.

Notarized Letter Templates

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What Is A Notarized Letter?

A notarized document or letter is one that has been marked with a seal or stamp to verify that the signature of the person on the document is genuine. Having a notarized letter can be useful for providing accurate and valid documents, particularly with regards to bank orders and licenses from the government.

It can also be used to authorize someone else to act as your representative in financial or medical matters, in addition to granting rights to someone to use your property. For example, if you operate your business on property that has sufficient renting space to lend it to others, you will need a notarized document or letter to confirm the validity of the agreement between both parties.

Regardless of where the letter is notarized and for what purpose, it usually takes places under the supervision of a notary, who will confirm your identity through various documents and papers. The notary will then watch you sign the document before placing the stamp near the signature to ensure that it was really you who signed the document and not someone else.

The notary will also make sure that you are signing the document willingly. Should the notary find that you are being forced to sign a notarized document or letter, he or she will not validate your signature via a stamp. Furthermore, the notary will also see to it that you do not show signs of grogginess, which can occur due to the effects of certain medication, or intoxication.

In order for a notarized letter or document to be deemed valid, it is crucial that you are in a sober state of mind and sign it willfully. It is not always the case that you have to get a letter or document notarized in a public building. Today, there are many independent licensed notaries who can notarize your documents or letters through mobile service in which case you will have to agree to stringent terms and conditions to meet sufficient security.

Notarized Letter Samples

The details of the notarized letter or document usually conform to a general standard of three paragraphs, each emphasizing particular details of the agreement, contract, or request. In most cases, the first paragraph will provide the deponent details, in addition to the addresses and names of the recipient and the sender if it is a legal letter or document.

The notarized document or letter will present as much information as possible to ensure all relevant and essential details are presented clearly. The notary will then make sure that every detail is accurate before notarizing the document or letter.

The second paragraph will then emphasize other important details. Usually, this is where a brief summary of the terms and conditions of the contract or request will be stated, as well as the penalties should any party be found of violating these terms. All details presented in this paragraph must be given as clearly as possible to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

The last paragraph will then conclude with a brief outline of the letter or document and leave blank spaces for signatures of both you and the notary. Depending on what kind of notarized document or letter it is, it may require further signatures before it is notarized with a stamp or seal of approval.

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Lease Agreement Sample

Since there are different types of notarized documents, the content and information for each will vary according to state and type. In the case of a lease agreement relating to your business, the notarized letter will specify the details of the agreement, in addition to the location, date on which it becomes effective, and the date of termination. It can also specify other crucial details, such as the area of the leased property along with a few essential terms of the contract.

At the end of the document, it will require three signatures, each from the lessor, the lessee, and the notary. Also included will be a space for the notary to issue the stamp of approval and signature of the advocate.

Affidavit of Financial or Medical Support Sample

In cases where you, the business owner, make someone else to act on your behalf in medical or financial matters, you will be required to fill in the blanks for a notarized document in which you clearly state your name as well the name of the person whom you are authorizing.

The document will usually outline the validity and duration of the document and express what it covers followed by a conclusion in which the other person will take full responsibility for your decisions. In this situation, the document will require signatures from both you and the other person along with that of a notary.

Beneficiary Letter of Instruction Sample

Should you require funds to be distributed to a certain individual such as through a Payable On Death (POD) form, then you will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and relationship with the account holder.

You will then have to choose preferences in how the proceeds should be distributed to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. It will also indicate the terms and conditions of the agreement along with the resulting penalties should you be found of breach. You will then be required to provide details, such as the account title, account number, and account balance, in addition to your signature.

The notary will check all information is presented and understood clearly by both parties and then validate the signature using a stamp.

How to Notarize a Document?

Getting a document or letter notarized is simply a matter of providing the signature to the notary, who will then verify your details prior to placing the stamp for approval. The notary will ask you of a number of documents as proof of your identity to ensure there is not any person assuming your identity through fraudulent means. Among the documents you will be required to show include the following:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • Passport or any other form of valid identification subject to state requirements.
  • S military ID card (if applicable)
  • Green card
  • Birth certificates
  • Social security number
  • Credit or debit cards
  • School ID cards

Upon checking the aforementioned documents, the notary will ensure you are the person you claim and not an impostor. If the notary finds any reason to doubt your claim, he or she will refrain from notarizing the letter or document.

More importantly, it is the job of a notary to ensure you sign the document under his presence. If you bring the document already containing your signature, the notary will refuse to validate your document or letter and require you to bring another copy of the letter or document to have it notarized.

Furthermore, the job of notary is not to provide you with any legal advice or support with regard to the validity or legality of your agreement or contract. He is only responsible for authorizing the agreement. If you are in doubt about the terms and conditions of the contract, you are better off seeking professional legal advice and support from a trained attorney.

Using Credible Witnesses

Should you be unable to confirm your identity to the notary, it is possible to have it confirmed through a witness. This witness must be credible and show proof that he knows you and can verify or support your identity in a court of law. It should be noted that the use of a credible witness is not applicable in all states in the U.S.

Hence, it is recommended that you check if your state laws allow the use of such measures. A credible witness can only be used in certain situations and circumstances. For instance, if you have forgotten to bring your driver’s license or passport, you can’t ask your family member or friend to act as a credible witness to vouch for your identity. You can only take such measures if you have no acceptable means of showing your identification or that you cannot resort to the aforementioned forms of identification.

If these conditions apply, you may seek assistance from a credible witness to prove the following:

  • The witness knows the signer of the letter or document
  • The witness accepts that the signer does not have access to a valid ID
  • The witness is certain that the signer is unable to attain a valid ID
  • The witness does not have any reason or financial interest in the execution of the letter or document

Notarized Letter Format

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Where to Get Your Documents Notarized

Depending on where you go to have your documents or letters notarized, you may be expected to pay a small fee, usually costing around $20. The fee goes to notaries for being up-to-date with the latest laws pertaining to certain types of transactions, requests, or agreements. There are several places you can go to have your documents or letter notarized. These include:

Businesses

There are a number of retail businesses and stores that have notaries for notarizing a document. If you wish to avail these services, it is advised that you let them know beforehand so that they can charge the appropriate fee and make the necessary arrangements for your requests. You can get your letter or documents notarized by visiting shipping sores (such as UPS and FedEx), office supply stores (such as Staples or OfficeMax), and law offices and tax preparers. You may also be able to find notaries in convenience stores and car dealer shops.

Credit Unions and banks

These are a better place to begin getting your documents or letters notarized. Banks are usually the best places to find a notary public. Most banks in the U.S. will normally have a public notary in most, if not all of their branches. If you have an account in the bank, you may be able to avail the service for free. If not, the bank may recommend you get the documents notarized from a bank in which you have an account or charge a small fee for the service.

Other financial institutions, such as real estate and insurance companies also make use of notaries public. They may also charge a small fee depending on whether you a customer of their or not. This, of course, also applies to law offices, wherein you can find a notary public to authorize your documents and letters.

Online notaries

If you want to avoid the trouble of visiting a bank, a retail store, or a law firm to get your documents notarized, you can always get it done through online notaries. Considering how many transactions are made online, many institutions make use of online notaries to notarize agreements, bank transfers, and the like. This is commonly being utilized by real estate companies for the sale, distribution, and sale of property to its rightful beneficiaries.

To avail the services of online notaries, you must make sure that it is acceptable from your end. This process may involve recording your signature through video through apps to confirm your identity.

TemplateLab June 25th, 2017