Does a Power of Attorney Need to Be Notarized?

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For power of attorney to be granted to an individual, documentation requires a signature from a notary public official or additional signatures from witnesses other than the people requesting power of attorney. Specific requirements to grant power of attorney depend on the state in which the request is filed. Every notary public is trained on how to sign requests, according to the National Notary Association.

California does not require notarized requests as long as two witnesses meet signature standards, notes Wikipedia. These standards include using two witnesses who are not the requesting parties and are older than 18. The two witnesses must watch the person who is requesting power of attorney sign the document or verbally tell the witnesses about the request. The person requesting power of attorney on his own behalf is called the principal.

Many other states require a notary official to sign a power of attorney request, and this cannot be substituted for any other witnesses, according to Wikipedia. Notaries reserve the right to deny a request for power of attorney if the notary suspects the principal is being coerced or abused. Power of attorney grants an individual the right to handle a principal’s affairs, business or other legal issues such that it is in the principal’s best interest. This happens when a principal is unable to handle these affairs himself.