Conflict of Interest Articles

Notarizing for Family Members and the Family Businesses

by American Association of Notaries
Our readers have undoubtedly heard the legendary story about President Calvin Coolidge being sworn into the office of President of the United States of America by his father in 1923. (more...)

Notarizing for Family Members

by American Association of Notaries
Notaries must be impartial witnesses to transactions. They may not have an interest in the documents that they notarize. By the same token, notaries are prohibited from notarizing their own signatures, or documents in which they are named. (more...)

Can a Notary Offer Non-Notarial Services to their Notary Clients?

by American Association of Notaries
Most notaries acquire a notary commission as an additional credential. Very often, offering notarial services is not the notary's only, or primary, occupation. Many individuals become notaries at the request of their employers, while others wish to offer services to their local communities and neighborhoods. (more...)

Can a Witness to a Notarization Have a Financial Interest in the Notarized Document?

by American Association of Notaries
The role of the notary public in society is of vital importance. When a notary places his or her stamp and signature on a document, the document recipient or the receiving institution automatically assumes that the notary has executed his or her responsibility correctly. This means that the notary has maintained impartiality, has performed notarial duties according to state law, and has acted with the utmost integrity. (more...)

Refusing to Notarize When There Is a Question of Benefit

by American Association of Notaries
A notary public should comply with every reasonable request when called upon to notarize a document. However, there are times when a request may not only be unreasonable, but may actually be unlawful. (more...)

Notaries, Avoid Conflicts of Interest!

by American Association of Notaries
Never act in a notary capacity if you have any involvement whatsoever in the transaction taking place. If you are named in the document, or if a family member or close affiliate is named, refuse to notarize. You must be a completely unbiased witness to the execution, and you are not unbiased, if for example, your spouse, your sister, or your boyfriend stands to gain financially or emotionally from the transaction taking place. (more...)
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Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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