I thought I would share about my mobile notary services to hospitals. This week, I provided mobile notary service to a patient and her family at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, Califorina. Other recent notary appointments have been at Lucille Packard’s Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara and Stanford Hospital in Stanford, California. I provide notary service to the other hospitals in the counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara, California too.
Common documents that require notarization by hospital patients are power of attorneys and advanced health care directives. Once in a while the person has a refinance loan package or a seller signing package. Another common request is when they have been involved in a car or motorcycle accident and their car or motorcycle is impounded. Since they are in the hospital and the sole owner of the vehicle or bike, they need a notarized letter authorizing a family member or friend to pick up their car or bike from the impound yard.
As a notary, I have to gauge the competence and willingness of the signer as well as identify them. If they are taking pain killers or other medications causing grogginess, signing is better later in the medication cycle when they are more alert. If they aren’t competent, I have to decline the notarization. If they do not have their current photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card or passport), two credible witnesses are needed who do have their current photo ID’s and testify to the signers identification.
Hospital stays can be stressful for the patient and their family and friends. I recognize this and work accordingly with them to make the notarizations as efficient and pain free as possible. An example, today when I just arrived, the physical therapists came in and wanted to work with the patient (“Mrs. Jones”). We asked them to return in a a few minutes. I quickly reviewed the patient’s current photo ID to confirm her ID and signature. I reviewed the power of attorney requiring notarization. I asked about her hand strength to see if a felt tip pen would work better for Mrs. Jones than the ball point pen. While one of her sons worked with her to practice signing her signature. I worked with her other son to complete a couple of items on the power of attorney. Next, I asked her a couple of questions about the power of attorney that she needed to answer and asked her a couple of questions to confirm she understood what she was signing. I had her sign the document and my notary journal and then give her thumb print in my journal. Next, her son signed his portion of the document and he signed the journal and gave his thumb print in it too.
The physical therapists returned to the room and started working with Mrs. Jones while I completed notarizing the document and completing the journal. I wrote a receipt. They paid me. I was on my way and they had their much needed notarized power of attorney, so now her son can manage her finances while she is recovering in the hospital.
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