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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55705
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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Does a notary have the right to question whether a person signing

Customer Question

Does a notary have the right to question whether a person signing a document understands what they are signing. For example; a man with a mail order bride is having her sign a pre-nup when she can't even speak english well and sure she has no clue what she is signing.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Under the rules of the American Association of Notaries, a notary has no responsibility for the content of a document. There are circumstances, however, where a notary can refuse to notarize. Given this, in your situation, since you are not comfortable that this is not a fraudulent transaction, I would refuse to provide the notarization and ask that they have another notary notarize the document. The specifics of the AAN are provided for you below (http://members.usnotaries.net/faq.asp?FaqSubCategoryID=94#FAQ1079): "Can a notary refuse to notarize a document that he or she cannot understand?A notary public is not responsible for the content of the document. The duties and responsibilities of a notary public are restricted only to the execution of proper notarial procedures." "When should a notary public refuse to notarize a document?A notary must refuse a notarization for the following reasons:• The notary cannot verify the identity of the signer;• The notary does not have his or her notary seal and notary journal available for the notarization;• The notary has a beneficial or financial interest in the document;• The notary is unable to communicate with the signer;• The notary has knowledge that the transaction is fraudulent;• The signer did not personally appear before the notary at the time of the notarization;• The document contains blank spaces;• The document does not contain a notarial certificate."
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
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