FAQ:

Q: What does it mean when a document asks for a witness?

A: a witness is an individual who is present when some action is performed, who personally sees or perceives the action being performed, and who can attest to the performance of the action if it is questioned. In Pennsylvania a Notary Public is permitted to bear witness for the signing of documents providing the notarial act does not contain wording that acknowledges the appearance of an individual witness. Notaries are not permitted to perform a notarial individual acknowledgment for themselves and therefore are prohibited from acting as a witness if the acknowledgement wording is inclusive of a witness. J. Reisner Notary charges a $5.00 Clerical Fee for the first instance of bearing witness to a signed document and $1.00 for each additional. This fee is in addition to the fee for the notarial act and the standard clerical fee for the appointment.

Q: What does it mean when my document requires a ‘Wet Signature’?

A: A wet signature refers to a signature written by hand in ink. A wet signature is not a facsimile produced by a signature stamp or any other device. Stamped signatures or other reproductions of signatures are not acceptable for notarizations in any circumstance.

Q: Can you notarize my Will?

A: Yes but please read the next question to determine the requirements.

Q: What do I need to do to have a Will signed and notarized?

A: To properly sign your Will, you (the Testator or Testatrix), must first select a minimum of two witnesses. Three witnesses must see you sign your Will if you live in Vermont. While only two witnesses are required in all other states, it’s best to use three, if possible If for some reason a witness has to be located after you die, there are better odds of finding one if you started with three, rather than two. Your witnesses watch you sign your Will, and then sign their names in the spaces provided. If you decided to have your Will notarized (which is the common and recommended practice), you and your witnesses will need to go to the notary together to all sign the Will at the same time. You and the witnesses should read the Affidavit (which was included as as separate text file entitled witness. txt) , fill in your names, execute and swear to it before the notary public. Inspect the Will and confirm that the date, signatures, and other blanks are properly inserted and legible. You must do this correctly. Unless your Will is properly witnessed, it won’t be valid. The witnesses must be competent adults (over age 18) who are not beneficiaries under the Will. This is important because if you leave property to a witness, that person may be disqualified as a witness or even disqualified from inheriting that property. For these reasons, do not select your spouse or any of your children as witnesses. If possible, the witnesses should be people who will be easy to locate upon your death. This usually means the witnesses are people who don’t move around a lot and are younger than you during the execution of the Will, you, all witnesses, the notary public, and the Will must at all times be present. No one should leave the room, or be out of the sight or hearing of the others. The Will should never be out of the sight of anyone. The proceedings should reflect the gravity of making a Will. When you’re ready to sign your Will, call your witnesses together in one place. They need not read your Will and you need not read it to them. However, they must all be aware that you intend the document to be your Will. A simple statement to that effect will suffice, i.e. “[This is my Will and I want you to witness it.” When signing, sign in ink in the same form of your name you used in your Will. For example, if you start your Will with the name of John H. Smith, sign your Will the same way, not in another form, such as “JH Smith” or “John Henry Smith.” Once you’ve signed your Will, ask your witnesses to date and sign it in ink with their normal signatures and fill in their names and addresses in the spaces indicated. After signing the Will, decide where the original Will is to be kept and inform the executor and any alternates of the location. Beware of storage in a bank safety deposit box as some states require that they be sealed upon death and retrieval of the Will documents could be difficult. Generally, storage in a fireproof box or some other safe location should be sufficient. Remember: Should you desire to change your Will in the future, a formal Codicil or new Will will have to be executed. You should not write on or otherwise attempt to revise the Will.

Q: What does SS: on my document mean?

A: The SS: on your documents means, near the venue. The scilicet indicates that a statement follows.

Q: Can you notarize a Power of Attorney?

A: Yes, this is a common request; we do this often.

Q: What is a Power of Attorney?

A: a power of attorney is a written document executed by an individual authorizing another to act on his or her behalf. Notarization is required when a real estate or motor vehicle transaction is involved.

Q: What is an Affidavit Of Subscribing Witness?

A: An Affidavit of Subscribing Witness is used primarily in connection with wills. It is executed by someone who has witnessed the signing of a document and then signed the document as a witness. In the affidavit, the witness swears or affirms that he or she and the principal signer, along with any other subscribing witnesses, all willingly signed the same document on the same occasion in the presence and view of each other.