I've been told by a Florida attorney that the Trust I have that was prepared by another Florida attorney is not valid because one of the witnesses on the document is also the person who notarized the document. The witness / notary is an employee of the attorney of the attorney who prepared the document.
The notary can also be a witness under certain circumstances. It depends on whether the notary was notarizing the settlor's signature and/or the witnesses' signatures. The notary can't notarize his or her own signature; therefore, if the document requires the notary to notarize the settlor's signature AND the signatures of the witnesses, then, NO, the notary can't be a witness on the document. This is often the case when your are dealing with a self-proving document. If the notary is only notarizing the settlor's signature, then the notary can be a witness as well. Of course, there may be other factors to consider such as whether the notary/witness has any interest in the document that is being signed. It would probably be best to have an experienced attorney look at the document to give you a definite answer.
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Estate Planning Attorney
Get the document to an attorney to inspect it to be fully informed on this matter. See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.
Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
822 A1A North, Suite 303
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
(O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109
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