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I must sound like the most clueless person in the world when it comes to giving advice about a Last Will & Testament.  I have a good reason:

I'm a Colorado notary -- not an attorney. 

A notary may not give advice about a Last Will & Testament.  Or any kind of legal advice, for any kind of document.  That is, not unless they want to be prosecuted for engaging in unauthorized practice of law, which is a very serious offense.

Last Will and TestamentIt's becoming very common for a person to prepare their own Last Will and Testament.  They save themselves hundreds of dollars by not going to an attorney.  They simply download a form from the internet, usually for less than $20, and fill it out.  Then take it to a notary.  And while they're with the notary, they ask the notary if they filled it out correctly, what to do with it once it's notarized, ... and a lot of other questions.  It happens almost every time I notarize a Last Will and Testament that a person prepared themselves.


Many notaries refuse to notarize a Last Will & Testament out of fear of doing something wrong.

But a notary notarizes signatures -- not documents. 

A notary makes no claims about the validity or accuracy of a document. Notarizing a Last Will & Testament doesn't necessarily make it "legal". A notary is not a cheap substitute for an attorney.   If a person asks me if they did everything correctly, I don't hesitate to tell them that I'm not an attorney, and I cannot offer any kind of advice.

So what good is a notary if they can't offer advice about a Last Will & Testament?

Notaries don't give advice about documents.  Notaries notarize signatures.



For more information, see the 'Last Will & Testament' section on my website.


Maia Whitaker
Superior Notary Service | Allstate Insurance - Boulder, CO
Your Trusted Notary & Insurance Advisor

Excellent point and post!  Hope to see more from you.

Mar 28, 2011 12:30 PM