11 Jul Is notarized document legal in court?(Last Updated On: July 11, 2019)
There are questions whether or not a court of law recognizes a notarized document as a legally binding one. Well, there are a handful of arguments behind this, and it is one of the fascinating aspects of the legal system.
Some people might argue that a completely notarized document holds some form of legal merit, or in this case, it is legally binding. It is important to note that when people or corporation enter into an agreement, may that be for the purchase or sale or exchange of services, and contracts are usually signed. These contracts include stipulations and various details about the contract. There are some cases that parties involved in an agreement end up with legal disputes because one particular element of the deal is missing: notarization.
How important is notarization?
A notarized document holds some legal semblance depending on the scope of the case. For once, a duly notarized one means that it is converted from a purely private piece of article into a public instrument which can be easily requested by the court of law should the need arise. It also adds to the authenticity of the article, and parties who signed the deal are compelled to follow its stipulations.
Another essential thing to note about notarized articles is that they can be rendered admissible in a court of law. This means that they can be treated as tangible evidence since they are notarized. Because of the nature of these documents, they are usually used in order to prevent fraudulent transactions, especially on legal transactions and business contracts. Lawyers who are found guilty of falsifying notarized documents can end up losing their license, and worse they can go to jail.
Is a notarized document ‘legal’?
With regards to the question of whether a notarized document is legal or not, the answer depends on the situation. A court of law can accept a notarized one, but it does not necessarily mean it is legal. For it to be legal, its contents must comply with the law. Otherwise, it is considered illegal.
One might ask, if a notarized document is not legal, then what is its purpose? As mentioned above, its primary purpose is to verify authenticity. A notarized one means that all signatures within were adequately verified to have come from the real person. Part of the process includes providing necessary IDs of the people who are signatories of the document.
It is important to note that the lawyer does not review the contents of the document or their compliance with the law. All they do is verify the authenticity of the signatures of the people involved in a particular contract.
For contracts to be legally binding, they have to be submitted to various legal procedures. They must also contain certain elements that make them legally binding. A notary stamp is not a required element for it to be legally binding.
What is the process to have a document notarized?
There are a handful of steps on how to properly do this. First, you must gather all the required papers along with their supporting papers. You have to make sure that all of these are not signed, as they should be signed in the presence of a lawyer. A lawyer will most likely dismiss documents that are signed. This is done in order to make sure that the proper people signed it in the presence of a lawyer.
The next thing to remember is to bring at least two government-issued IDs with photo. Among those that are considered valid IDs are your passport, driver’s license, or professional license. Upon submitting it to the lawyer and after providing the necessary identification of the parties involved, the lawyer will prepare a handful of documents for the parties to sign.
Once proper identifications are checked, and affidavits are signed, the lawyer will now allow parties to sign the documents that are to be notarized. It is important to note here that the lawyer will be compelled to invalidate the documents should show he or she has reasons to believe that one of the parties are signing under duress or being forced against their will. Under these circumstances, the documents will be invalidated.
A credible witness is also needed for each party. A witness should personally know either of the parties involved in the signing of the documents.
Once the signatures are affixed, the lawyer will record the transaction into a journal. The record will show all the essential details about the transaction including the name of the parties involved, the date, and the place where the transaction occurred, as well as a handful of necessary details that are important to the transaction.
Once all the requirements are fulfilled, the lawyer will affix a notary stamp to all documents. This includes an official public seal and a stamp which proves that the documents were indeed properly scrutinized and notarized. In normal cases, there are fees to be paid. Nevertheless, these fees are subject to the lawyer’s discretion.
Where to look for a notary public?
Almost any town or city has at least one notary public. Lawyers are also allowed to do this. If there is a total absence of either in your immediate area and for added convenience, you can always check the Internet for the one nearest and most convenient for you.