Notary Conundrums This Week

Notary Problems and Puzzlers in a Typical Week

The only thing typical about any working week for a Notary is that there will be new questions to answer probably for the first time. Here are two– I hope you think I came to the correct conclusions.

* Number 1. Indian Power of Attorney.

A colleague Notary certified a Power of Attorney in England some time ago. Later the Donor (maker) of the Power phoned him to ask how he should go about cancelling the Deed, since he was beginning to wonder whether his choice of Attorney (Mr A) was in fact trustworthy. Having given advice the Notary was not contacted again to proceed with the revocation of the Deed and heard nothing further until this week when Mr A phoned from India and asked him to prepare and send to him a new certificate to confirm that the Power of Attorney had not been revoked. Should he do it, knowing of the Donor’s concerns? Would you?

* Number 2. Scary stuff from New York State.

A client attended to sign, in my room in Leeds, an Execution page of a Deed of Assignment. Only the last page was sent from the States, not the original deed and yet my requested certificate was that I should confirm his execution of the Deed itself. That’s right, the Deed which wasn’t even in the Country. Should I do it, would you? (If it helps you to decide, by the way, the penalty for perjury in the USA includes a jail sentence, and for aggravated perjury in some states (California and Idaho) includes the death penalty!)

In relation to the Indian request, I would have no problem with preparing and sending my Certificate confirming that the original Power had been made and that I had no knowledge of its revocation. A Notary is an international authority empowered to (and required to) give evidence of facts within his knowledge. He is not there to do anything else. So I could not certify that the Deed definitely had not been revoked (I do not know that) but nor should I make mention of the fact that at one stage, the Donor was having qualms. Qualms do not in themselves revoke Powers, so that phone call makes no difference in my opinion.

For New York, I refused to proceed until an email of the whole document was made available. The New York Attorney belied the reputation of his City by being very polite, but I discerned that he perhaps thought I was being unduly picky in my requirements.