For a variety of reasons becoming a Notary Public in California is a true learning process. There are complex foreign and domestic and in-state and out of state documents that can be quite confusing even to an experienced Notary upon first look. Legal documents can be imposing and hard to understand without legal training, and the Notary has no authority or ability to advise the client on legal matters.
An experienced Notary can take all this into account and to see what the document is requiring for either a Acknowledgement or Jurat and I allow the client to make their choice. It is more than that the experienced Notary is aware of how the exact standards must be for proper notarization. Ever mindful that an Attorney-at-law may review the document very closely to see if it is properly filled out or if they may use it as a court document in a hearing or trial. I have been made aware of this on several occasions.
Foreign documents can be challenging due to cultural, procedural and language barriers to the California Notary Public. Many involve travel of minors to foreign destinations. The trick is to discern what they want and how they want the parties involved to document it.
And then there is the proofing process, making every detail is exact, correct and in the proper place. Especially true with documents involving real estate. Some times a simple document can be easy to miss something or misspell a name. I have always a triple-check method to ensure the document is properly notarized with the correct California required notarial wording on the certificate. My client’s peace of mind regarding their documents can be executed with proper notarization of the party(s) involved. I may ask simple questions like, you have no middle name on the Californian Driver’s License? In to fill out the notarial certificate accurately.
In hospital setting it can be quite challenging for all parties involved. The patient even tho conscious, lucid may simply not want cooperate with caring family members trying for a Power of Attorney or Advanced Health Care Directives ,for example. There can be a wait period because the patient is called away for tests routine or on a stat basis by nursing staff.
Mark Edwin Hinsey, Califonia Notary Public