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When I notarize for an attorney-in-fact, does the attorney-in-fact need to show proof of the power of attorney before I notarize his or her signature?

Before a notary public takes the acknowledgment of an attorney-in-fact, the notary should ask to see the power of attorney document or obtain some other proof of the signer’s authority to sign on behalf of the principal signer.

The attorney-in-fact is insisting on signing the name of the principal signer on the signature line because he was instructed by his attorney to do so in this manner. Is the attorney advising his client correctly?

When an attorney-in-fact signs a document in a representative capacity, the attorney-in-fact must sign his own name along with his title and the name of the principal signer. For example, the signature of the attorney-in-fact will read as follows:
John M. Wilson, attorney-in-fact, for Lynne Meadows.

If the signer is present and so is his attorney-in-fact, should I notarize the document using the attorney-in-fact when the signer appears able to sign his own document?

It is not the responsibility of the notary public to determine when an attorney-in-fact can act for the principal.

The attorney-in-fact presented a document for a notarization that names his mother as the principal signer. The attorney-in-fact only brought with him a copy of a power of attorney that indicates he can sign on behalf of his mother. Can I notarize the document after seeing only a copy of a power of attorney?

No. The attorney-in-fact must present you with an original copy of the power of attorney. A notary public must make sure to read and verify that the attorney-in-fact actually has the power to act on behalf of the principal signer named on the document presented for the notarization.