The real function of the Notary is to verify the identification of persons signing legal documents under oath.
Date Released: 12/15/2008
Free Legal Advice - Do you need a Notary or an Attorney?
I often get calls asking me to assist in the "preparation" of legal documents. "Just tell me what it needs to say," is the most common request. Being a New York State notary; I am bound by the NY Notary Laws. An excerpt follows: May not give advice on the law. The notary may not draw any kind of legal papers, such as wills, deeds, bills of sale, mortgages, chattel mortgages, contracts, leases, offers, options, incorporation papers, releases, mechanics liens, power of attorney, complaints and all legal pleadings, papers in summary proceedings to evict a tenant, or in bankruptcy, affidavits, or any papers which our courts have said are legal documents or papers.
The real function of the Notary is to verify the identification of persons signing legal documents under oath. In New York State, and most other jurisdictions; notaries are forbidden to create documents or give legal advice. Being a notary and knowing my state's Notary Law; allows me to perform the notarization process. I can make certain that the notarization meets all legal requirements.
For example: it is recommended that the embosser always be used for documents destined for processing outside of NY State. As a matter of procedure I emboss all notarizations routinely.It's a real temptation to help my clients draft what appears to be a simple document. But I must decline, no matter how "trivial."
Lawyers have the license and skills for legal document preparation, not notaries. The same applies to "legal advice." "Should I sign this," is another common question that I am forbidden to answer. However, there are some questions that a skilled notary can answer. "Where in this set of mortgage documents can I find the interest rate?" As a Certified Signing Agent, http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com is able to assist borrowers in finding key aspects within their loan documents. It's truly a fine line between that permitted assistance and "explaining the documents."
Often, when I decline to give a "legal opinion," my client tells me that the request is too trivial to warrant the expense of hiring an attorney. Free legal advice is easily obtainable. The source I usually suggest is the local political office. Assembly leaders,
Congressional representatives, and other elected officials frequently maintain neighborhood offices. These tend to be staffed by recent law school graduates, or beginning attorneys; who are authorized to give legal advice and assist in the creation of documents. More links and update's from Kenneth A Edelstein All Purpose Certified New York Mobile Notary
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