If you have ever bought or sold a home, you might remember that when you signed the paperwork that a huge part of it was notarized by a notary. You might also remember that before your closing you were asked for a copy of your valid photo ID. You probably didn’t think anything of it at the time and thought it was just part of the process. Notarized documents are a bigger deal than what most people think. Let me explain.
When you sign a document and it is notarized, it is the notary’s responsibility to ensure that you have presented them with proper identification and that the document(s) are signed correctly. Such documents are executed in front of the notary. Documents are notarized to deter fraud, by having a document notarized you are saying that the facts within that document are true. In Texas a notary is required to keeping a notary book. This keeps track of all the transactions that the certain notary has done. Keep in mind that technically a notary notarizes signatures, not documents. Also remember that you will need a government issued photo ID to have something notarized.
If you are wondering why it is so important and a requirement to have the notary witness your signature I can give you an example of why. Say your family has owned a home for several generations. Your great-grandparents built it and lived in it. Then your grand-parent received the property through probate and now your parent or parents own it because they received it through probate. The don’t live in the house though, it’s just vacant. Someone notices that it’s vacant and watches it and figures out that no one has lived in the home for a while. They could prepare a deed from your great-grandparents, sign it themselves or have someone they know sign it, conveying the property to them and then take it to a notary that they may know or a notary that isn’t as ethical as they should be and get them to notarize the document even thought it’s signed. Now they can take that deed and file it of record and now they own the property and can turn around and sell it in the same matter. Meanwhile your family wouldn’t have any idea until they see a for sale sign in the yard or try to enter the property only to find that the locks have been changed. Now there is a big mess for the family to sort through, money that will be spent to obtain a lawyer to get the home back not to mention the emotional heartache.
If you have any questions on having a document notarized please don’t hesitate to let us know, we will be more than happy to answer your questions.