What types of customers have you worked with?
One of the more common type of notary requests I get are for a Power of Attorney. Power of Attorney is used to appoint someone to represent a person. It is usually used if a person is unable to handle their personal and financial affairs due to illness, injury, or if they are away from their normal home due to work, vacation, or military service. In Louisiana there are usually two different of Power of Attorney documents; one for financial and business affairs and a separate one for medical affairs.
When a person appoints someone to represent them (Power of Attorney) the person must be able to understand and comprehend what they are doing. This is generally referred to as "being of sound mind". Also the person must be able to use an ink pen to make a signature on the document. In Louisiana your signature is what you determine it to be. It is acceptable for someone's signature to change over time due to illness or injury but the person must be able to hold an ink pen and make some mark of his or her own hand to execute the document.
I have a special pricing package on a General Power of Attorney and a Medical Power of Attorney that includes preparing the documents, providing three originals of each document so that you will have backups, and traveling to meet the signers at their home, hospital room, or nursing home. Call me for more details.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
The purposes of having a document notarized is to ensure that the signer is identified as the same person listed in the document. That is why a notary will require the signer to provide current government issued photo identification such as a driver's license, state ID, or passport.
In most cases the notary must witness the signer's signature, although there are certain documents that a signer could acknowledge to the notary that the signer did sign his or her name.
When in doubt do not sign any document requiring notarization before you appear before the notary.
A notary cannot under any circumstances notarize a document where the signer is not present.