Notarizing is an important part of many legal transactions. The value of notarization is that it allows an impartial screening to happen in which the signer of a document has verified their identity. Years ago, the only way to have a document signed was to bring together a personal notary, who was awarded by the court the legal ability to provide this oversight service, and the person signing. The notary was tasked with verifying the person’s identity and then watching that person physically sign a document.
Today, the process is still necessary but much different. For business lawyers who constantly need to have documents notarized, it’s quite important to have a simple, straightforward method to do so. Why is notarizing a document like this important? How can it be done more efficiently?
What Does It Mean When a Document Is Notarized?
Notarizing is the process of:
A notary vetting the person signing the document, their willingness to do so, and their awareness of what details are within the content
The notary stamps and signs the document, which certifies its authenticity
The act is recorded in a notary journal
In a traditional environment, this is done in person. However, today, with the advent of so many electronic documents, it can also be done electronically.
Why Is Notarizing a Document Important?
Having documents notarized offers a number of key benefits to all parties involved. In some situations, notarization is required by law. This is common in situations involving legal documents, including wills, contracts, and legally binding agreements. Even when it is not legally required to do so, there are a number of key benefits to notarizing documents. This includes:
Gain legal protection: Notarized documents help to provide clear information about a project, plan, or agreement. This makes it much harder for contract disputes to arise and, if they do, it offers more control over litigation.
Reduce fraud: A growing problem for many companies is fraud, and with higher levels of fines and fees associated with fraud compliance, organizations need to take steps to verify identification. For an attorney, for example, a person misrepresenting themselves puts your legal services – your business’s reputation as well – on the line. Notarizing documents helps to reduce that risk substantially.
Avoid court appearance requirements: In some situations, depending on the circumstances of the case, notarized documents may serve as evidence in the courtroom, because they are considered self-authenticating. That means the witness or other party may not have to appear in court. The notarizing helps to ensure the evidence submitted in a trial is what it claims to be without the need for any additional proof. This reduces complications and risks.
Improve document credibility: A document may not be considered legally binding until it has been notarized. This applies to many types of legal agreements. Without the notary’s stamp on it and signature, the document means less. When that is added, it helps to increase the authenticity as well as the value of that document.
Quite notable, for attorneys, the use of documents like this is critical. It can provide a wide range of benefits in a legal setting. The problem is it is often cumbersome.
Notarizing Tips for Lawyers
Law firms looking to improve the use of notarization to alleviate frustrations and improve client outcomes may wish to consider a few helpful tips.
First, know your state’s rules. It’s always necessary to follow those rules when it comes to notarizing or the entire process is worthless.
Always ensure proper documentation and a trusted notary public is used. Do not skip corners here. It can infringe on the rights of all parties involved and puts your firm at risk.
Utilizing Electronic Document Signing and Notarization Tools
Many attorneys have moved to the process of electronic document signing, or ESigning. There are some very good reasons for doing so including faster and more efficient movement of documents through the various legal steps. A concern comes in when a document needs notarization and you hope to use an e-signature platform. However, there are solutions for this.
CoraLegal is the ideal solution. Here’s how it works.
You’ll invite notary publics in various cities that fit your needs (choose those from the counties you operate in) to join your CoraLegal account. There is no risk to the Notary Public in doing so and there’s no concern about privacy or data sharing. It’s all protected.
When a client document needs a signature, you choose a notary public within your account to do so. Do this as you are preparing the document as that helps to streamline the process to ensure it can be handled efficiently.
Once this is done, the notary is then able to enable the eSignature after they validate the client’s identification, as they would normally do. There is no reduction in the authenticity or validation here – the entire process remains very authentic.
The notary public then notarizes the document with their own eSignature and notary stamp. It’s that easy. Within seconds, the process is complete and you can move that client legal document to the next step in the legal process.
All notaries who use CoraLegal have the ability to set up their own free account to maintain their electronic notary journal, just as they would do if they were in person signing documents.
Learn More About CoralTree and CoraLegal
At CoralTree, we are consistently working with our clients to create a refined, easy-to-use, and comprehensive communication portal. It is the ideal secure file sharing system designed to efficiently manage your client communications in a streamlined manner. If you are a legal professional hoping to make notarizing documents effortless and more consistently available within your practice, take a look at how we can help you.