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Notarize

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated October 4, 2020

What Does Notarize Mean?

To notarize means to have a notary affix his or her seal and signature to a document signifying that he or she witnessed the signing of the document.

How Does Notarizing Work?

For example, when John and Jane Doe buy a house, they must sign the closing paperwork that makes them responsible for a large mortgage, title insurance and other responsibilities. The notary public comes to the closing appointment and watches John and Jane sign the documents. A notary, also called a notary public, is a person who is authorized to witness the signing of important documents. The notary then affixes his seal to the paperwork, proving that he witnessed the signing and that John and Jane Doe are who they say they are. In other words, the notary notarizes the documents.

Why Does Notarizing Matter?

Notarizing documents gives them legal weight. Notarization is commonly involved in the creation of wills, trusts, deeds and powers of attorney. Each state sets forth its own requirements for becoming a notary, though most involve passing a test and having no serious criminal history. Some require the purchase of a surety bond.

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