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If you have a trust amendment and the attorney who made up the trust also acts as the notary, Is this a conflict of interest or

San Francisco, CA |

is this usual and customary practices.

Attorney Answers 5


Norarization would not be permitted if the attorney was a beneficiary. Many attorneys are also notaries for the convenience of their clients, and there is no conflict of interest in notarizing a signature on a document prepared by an attorney for the benefit of a client.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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Clearly there is not. This is a service provided by the attorney, sounds like at no cost, as a courtesy to his client.

Attorney may also be a witness to signing of a Client's Will.

Is there something that did not get typed into the question?

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11 lawyers agree


I guess that three strikes ......

As the previous two attorneys state there is no legal or ethical reason that the attorney can not act as a notary unless he is either named in the document as a trustee or beneficiary.

Have a nice day!

Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

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It is very common in California for the drafting attorney to act as the notary of the trust and even serve as a witness to the execution of the will.

The notary's duties is to certify that the person who was supposed to sign the document actually signed the document.

The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice

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There would only be a problem if the attorney was a beneficiary to the trust. Otherwise, it is a courtesy service many attorney offices offer. A notary will typically charge $10 a signature in CA.

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