"Do you notarize wills?"
That was the question asked of me when I answered the phone a couple of days ago. I was thinking to myself, 'Of course I notarize wills. I'm a notary.'
Why not notarize a Last Will and Testament?
The person told me that his bank would not notarize his will. Perhaps it had something to do with 'liability'. At least that's the explanation the person gave me when I asked him why his bank wouldn't notarize it.
A Last Will and Testament is indeed a serious legal document. But that is no reason for a notary to refuse to notarize it. If the notary knows what to do, then there should not be a problem. And this Last Will and Testament was prepared by the person's attorney.
The first thing I told the person was, 'Yes, I notarize wills.' I told him that witnesses would be required, and that all of the parties would have to have valid identification. I also told him that I would not be able to assist him in any way with the signing of the will, or give him any legal advice. He understood.
When I arrived he had everything prepared. He also had his two witnesses. Everything went smoothly. He also had two Power of Attorney documents that he wanted notarized.
I can't speak for the bank as to why they would turn away one of their customers when it comes to notarizing a Last Will and Testament. Perhaps it's the bank's policy. All I can say is that, notarizing a Last Will and Testament is no different than notarizing any other document. Make sure that the venue is correct, enter the notary commission expiration date, sign it and seal it. The witnesses have to present for the signing at the time of the notarization -- not before, and not after. As to the contents of the Will -- as with any other document -- that is not the concern of the notary.