For a Person Who Is Mentally Incapacitated

The law prohibits the notary public from notarizing the signature of a person who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated by a court of competent jurisdiction if that notarization pertains to a right that has been removed.  These rights refer to such things as the right to vote, to marry, to execute conveyances of real property, etc.

What if the person is usually mentally competent, but is medicated at the time of the notarization, or what if a family member says the person is “in and out” of lucidity due to Alzheimer’s disease or some other mentally debilitating ailment?

When performing any notarization,  the notary public will question the signer to determine that he or she is willing and competent to execute the document.

■ You should provide impartial witness for the notarization.

■ If we are asked to go to a hospital or nursing home to provide services, we will check with the patient’s nurse or doctor prior to notarization.

■ The notary public will talk to the person alone.  Ask questions unrelated to the notarization.  Ask for his name, home address, and telephone number.  We could also engage the person in a conversation about his family, his occupation, a television program, a recent news event, etc.

■ The notary public will ask the signer to tell her or him about the document to be notarized.   What kind of document do you need to sign? Have you read the document completely?  Do you understand the document?  Do you need someone to explain the contents of the document to you?  Has anyone pressured you to sign this document?

If the notary public feels the person is mentally competent at the time, they will proceed.  If in doubt, they will not notarize!