Can a Family Member Notarize Your Documents?

As a notary service, one of the most common questions we hear at SLO Notary is whether a family member can notarize your document. Having a relative who is a qualified and licensed notary public can be convenient. You can get family discounts and they may also be available outside of regular business hours. However, using a family member as a notary is not an entirely good idea.

Let us find out why.

Why Using a Family Member as a Notary Is Not a Good Idea

When you ask a notary who is a member of your family to notarize important documents for you, there may be some conflict of interest as the notary may not be able to remain impartial. In many cases, there is a chance that that person may be benefiting financially from it. This may result in unethically verifying signatures that another notary should have been present for.

For example, if a person gets their son to notarize a property deed for him, the child may have a vested interest in it. This same issue can occur for notarizing sensitive documents like wills.

That is why it is not an ethical practice to use family members as notaries. In fact, there are several states that outright ban close family members from notarizing documents.

Is It Legal to Notarize for Family Members in San Luis Obispo?

California does not expressly ban family members from notarizing their relatives’ documents unless it results in a direct financial or other beneficial interest for the notary public. However, the state does caution care when it comes to notarizing for a spouse or domestic partner. So, it is possible to contact some family members to notarize certain documents. At SLO Notary, however, we advise that you do not do so and stay on the same side. It is much better to request the service of a neutral notary public.

Notarize Your Legal Documents Through SLO Notary

So, if you consider all things, should you have a family member notarize your document? Our answer is no — however, we do accept that there are some grey areas when it comes to California law. In some cases, notarizing through family members is acceptable.

However, in good conscience, we do advise you not to create the habit of notarizing for your family members. It only takes a few dollars to get the services of a reputable and impartial notary public and the risk is not worth it.

If the only reason you ask a family member to notarize for you is convenience, we at SLO Notary can offer you the same accessibility and ease. Just call us at 805-500-2475 or email or text us at any time and we will send you one of our qualified and licensed notaries at your home or workplace.

At SLO Notary, we only follow the industry’s best practices for notarizing your legal documents and will make sure that you do not get into hot water over them. Schedule an appointment with us today. We can help you notarize documents like affidavits, death affidavits, title documents, estate planning documents, trust deeds, insurance documents,loan/escrow documents, and more.

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