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 Question of the day
 Question 6 - Hospital notarizations
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46 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2016 :  1:58:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I get calls episodically and, it seems, in bunches for hospitals and nursing homes. I am in Illinois and will answer with my experiences.
I always ask the family member who calls if the signer has id; this is sometimes difficult to obtain, but I prefer it if available. In Illinois I can use credible witnesses if there is no valid id. The problem becomes this: the facilities generally do not like their personnel being witnesses and you would do well to inquire in advance if nurses or other staff can be credible witnesses. If not, you need to get credible witnesses who are not interested parties to the transaction[documents involved]. This solves the id question and puts the next question on the table:
Does the document or documents being notarized require witnesses to the signatures and, if so, can the notary be one? In Illinois the notary can always also be a witness except if the witnesses signature(s) are being notarized and then you are out as you would be notarizing your own signature. So find this out before you arrive in case the family/friends need to bring a witness or pay you to bring a spouse or friend to be a witness.
It is vital to always engage in a conversation with the signer to make sure the they who you are, what they and you will be doing/signing and if they are understanding. While you are not attesting to their competence you want to know in your heart that they are at that moment.
Good luck!

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1 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2016 :  08:57:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking for any new experiences with hospital signings. All that I've done have been in a hospital have been for doctors or staff, not patients.
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265 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2011 :  09:50:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dannotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I end up not doing hardly any of these anymore. I think Ca. does not want us to notarize for people who are on pain medications during the last 12 hrs. Hard to determine by asking. Patients and their family will lie. Nurses are not allowed to tell you anything. Its nice to be helpful to people but not at putting myself at legal risk.
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553 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2010 :  11:33:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do convalescent home and hospitals quite frequently however I am meticulous when dealing with the person who is signing as well as the family/friends. I always ask when going over the details with the hiring party if the person has proper current ID and is able to sign and inquire whether they are coherent and aware. If I am told that they are then I will accept the job. When I get to the location I always ask the signer a few questions and have a general conversation with them. I also make sure they are aware of what they are signing. I do not let the members of the family control the circumstances or try to convince or manipulate the signer. I take control because I feel that it is my duty as a notary to ward off any mis doings/fraud and do not want this on my conscience or to come back to me later in a court of law...

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324 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2010 :  07:55:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit vince's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by DianaNotary

First of all, some of these signings take more time to complete as the people who are signing have a hard time to understand the document and sign it.

Hopefully, you are not suggesting that you would be sealing any document the person does not have the capacity to understand the intentions of. Not saying you are, but am hopeful you are not.
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171 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2010 :  10:10:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit DianaNotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In comparison to other signings, a signing done at the hospital or at a senior assisted living facility – is quite different and might get emotional and complicated. First of all, some of these signings take more time to complete as the people who are signing have a hard time to understand the document and sign it. Then, most of the documents signed at this places are Power of Attorneys, Trusts, etc… and are sensitive to those who sign it…
I think that Notaries have to be open minded and patient – as the usual “Business like attitude” doesn’t work here. When I am contacted to complete a signing at the hospital or convalescent home, I try to get as much information as possible in advance about the document being notarized, whether or not the signer has any identification, can I communicate with the signer….etc. This information comes in handy and helps me prepare for the signing.

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Lisa T.

391 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2008 :  8:13:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lisa T.'s Homepage  Reply with Quote
I notarize signatures at rehab hospitals and assisted living facilities regularly. The patient's I deal with are elderly and of sound mind but are just not mobile. They have current ID and some still drive. Their family member calls me and makes the arrangements.
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7 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2008 :  07:40:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit suzi's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I received a call from a hospice late last evening. A 38 year old woman, dying from cancer, wanted to leave instructions as to her wishes concerning her 10 and 13 year old sons. She had dictated her directions to a hospice counselor and although she was weak, she held the pen herself and took the oath, but had to rest while writing. She seemed to relax after the signing, and I don't think she made it through the night. I will probably never forget that signing, but I'm also glad all of you had given good advice as to what to do to ensure it was done properly since she was so near death. My husband kept expecting me to cry when I got home, but instead I felt happy that she could let go of that worry before leaving her sons. I love this job.

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135 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2008 :  10:04:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit BobbiCT's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The law firm that I am with, like many others in CT, usually sends an employee notary (not necessarily a paralegal) to the hospital if the client requests documents from our firm that require notarization.

The firm just found it easier to "get it right" and our clients were more comfortable using their law firm's employee ... and 99% of the time the client decided it wasn't worth the time and effort to find a notary.

Note: The "notarization fee" is part of our service. It is a matter of customer service and remaining competitive amongst law firms. I will not divulge the charge; however, it is more than the statutory $5/notarization and 25 cents/mile and less than what I read posted by mobile notaries on the public boards.
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3017 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2008 :  03:45:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This post seems to have gotten buried. Does anyone have any recent experiences with hospitals and convelescent homes?
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New Hampshire
681 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2008 :  07:25:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit dfye@mcttelecom.com's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I second that Maureen.

Legal Eagle Para Professional Services
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93 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2008 :  07:15:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree completely with edelske. I'm happy to do hospital, hospice, and nursing home calls but I tell the caller up front that if the patient appears, in MY judgement, to not be fully aware of the implications of the document that I will refuse to perform the notarial act. I collect my fee up front as well. CASH ONLY. If it's a relative calling (which it is most of the time) I always insist on speaking directly with the patient. If that's not possible for any reason, I don't do the call. I learned this lesson when I took a hospital call once where the patient "couldn't speak on the phone." I showed up and the patient was a woman in her 60's who was rattling on and on about seeing Jimmy Hendrix dancing in a purple sky....I'm not sure what she was on but it must have been some pretty good stuff. The experience was quite entertaining needless to say but not profitable since I hadn't collected the money up front and the lady's sister didn't want to pay when I refused the notarization.

So far I haven't had any problems since then, and I have a feeling that my "speak with the patient" rule has probably prevented all of them. It's also good to let people know that you charge a waiting fee and to please make sure that the documents are filled out completely (except for the signatures) prior to your arrival.
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New Hampshire
9 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2007 :  10:00:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In some cases due to infirmity a borrower is unable to sign.Depending on you state lawsyou may be able to assist them or yourself or another uninvolved party sign at their direction.
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New York
813 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2007 :  04:38:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"semi-incapacitated" is of no concern. However they do need to sign the document themselves - no "help" from others. Do the proper up-front checking to avoid problems. Is the person able to understand the oath? Do they have proper ID - ON SITE. When is visiting hours? What type of document, how many copies, witness requirements, etc. I charge a small premium for Hospital visits due to the extra time involved - there are almost always delays as hospital procedures certainly take priority. To avoid a "zero pay" trip - I arrange for payment in the LOBBY of the hospital prior to going to the room. I make it clear that the fee is kept if the patient - for any reason is unable to be notarized. On the "flip" side I am VERY patient and thankful that I am not the one in the bed. However, this is a business - and with a clear "up front" understanding (of MY processing requirements) by my client (who placed the order) - we both know what to expect.
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New Hampshire
681 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2007 :  06:22:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit dfye@mcttelecom.com's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I do voluntary hospitalization signings. If you are any kind of cognizant, you will know if a patient is not with the program. Be sure to take an oath after the signing that the signer is within their right mind, etc. Use your best judgment. Most of them are competent but there are a few that are not.

Legal Eagle Para Professional Services
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634 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2007 :  11:50:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In my quite rural/small town area, both hospitals and nursing homes have their own notaries on staff. I was contacted once to do a POA... and the signer was unconscious! I assume that the staff notary refused and they thought "Well, maybe some dumb 'outside' notary will do it." ??? Never again will I make a trip for nothing. If they can't get it done by hospital/NH personnel--there's a reason!
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3017 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2007 :  11:51:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What is a good procedure for a hospital notarization for a semi-incapacitated person?

By the way, when loan signings are slow, you can contact hospitals and convelescent homes for business. Give cards to relatives of patients and admin people and you WILL eventually get calls.
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