A notarized document is one that is signed by and (in most cases) carries the seal of a notary public. These individuals act as witness to another individual signing a document, verify the identity of the signer, and keep a log of who is signing each document. Sometimes a notary public will administer an oath to the person signing the document, ensuring that the signer is being truthful with regard to the document content.
There are several types of documents that are typically must be notarized – documents such as legal agreements, powers of attorney, contracts, living wills, deeds, and many more. The majority of documents, however, do not require notarization. Still, there are definite benefits to having your paperwork notarized:
- Notarization verifies that the person signing a document actually understands what he or she is signing, which is particularly important with regard to paperwork involved in immigration or legal actions, for example.
- It protects you against fraud. This is especially true in the case of agreements. If a document is notarized, the recipient can be sure that you are who you say you are and vice versa – you should request that any agreement you receive be notarized so you have verification that the person who signed the document is who he or she says she is.
- Having notarized documents is a definite advantage if you should end up in court for whatever reason, since notarized documents are “self-authenticating” (meaning you would not need to verify the authenticity of signatures in court) and adds legitimacy to the document. Of course some legal documents actually require notarization – such as affidavits, for example – but any type of paperwork that may end up being used in a courtroom proceeding would prove more beneficial with the signature and seal of a notary public.
Considering the litigious nature of our 21st century society, it is theoretically possible for virtually any business document to wind up in court or in some form of corporate dispute. You will benefit from having your documentation notarized no matter what industry you may be in, including:
- Corporations of any type and size
- Legal profession
- Real estate
- Title companies
- Car dealerships
- Schools (public and private)
If you don’t already have a notary on your staff, it’s easy to locate one. If your schedule doesn’t permit you to meet with a notary in person, there are other options available. Many translation companies for example, including MI Translations, offer notary services to their clients.