Do you intend to sign a legal document or require oath administration? If you do, you will need the services of a notary public. Notary publics are government-appointed officials who act as independent witnesses. As witnesses, notary publics deter fraud and coercion in legal agreements. These officials run independent offices but can also be accessed in law firms, banks, insurance, and government offices. This post highlights the importance of a notary public.
A notary public helps to detect and deter fraud in legal agreements. Broadly, the official's role is to issue notary certificates. Typically, the notary public will only append his or her seal upon verifying the authenticity of the parties. In so doing, the notary public requests proof of identities such as licenses and passports. In this way, parties can have confidence in the process. More so, the verification prevents misrepresentation and identity theft that enables fraud.
Authenticating Legal Age
An agreement is only valid if the parties involved have attained the legal adult age. The legal age may vary across countries, and it is not always easy to tell. The best way to authenticate the age of parties is through the services of a notary public. Ordinarily, the notary public requests passports and national identity cards to confirm your age. This stop-gap measure ensures that only parties who have attained adult age can enter into agreements.
Confirming the State of Mind
Another pre-qualification for a binding agreement is that the signing parties must be of sound mind. This requirement is ideal to ensure that parties agreeing do so knowingly. There are two main impediments to sobriety, namely, intoxication and ill health. People who are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and substances may experience impaired judgment. More so, health conditions such as mental illness, dementia, and general poor health may also affect decision-making. The notary public uses observation and interviewing techniques to establish that parties to an agreement are not intoxicated or ill at the time of notarization.
Notarization also acts as a deterrence to coercion. It is not far-fetched for people to enter into agreements on coercion. In this case, coercion means committing or threatening to commit an illegal act to exert undue influence on others. For instance, one party may threaten to unleash violence, detain someone, or withhold property to force them into an agreement. To prevent such situations, the notary public looks for signs of coercion such as hesitation in agreement execution. Besides, the official explains that parties should not agree if they are not willing.
Notary publics help to deduce and prevent fraudulent behavior in signing legal documents. The notary public verifies the identity, age, and consent to give confidence to all agreement parties. Contact notary services to learn more.