How to Make Notarization More Comfortable for Elderly Signers

When notarizing signatures for the elderly, you need to be extra careful. Older adults often have medical conditions that affect their physical or mental health, making the notarization process a little more complicated. You should do everything in your power to make your elderly clients comfortable and make sure they are not victims of financial exploitation. Here are some tips on how to do it.

1. Timing Matters

Whether you are going to an assisted-living center or their home, you should always choose a time when the elderly signer feels the most relaxed. They must be comfortable and focused, so avoid the times when they may be tired, irritated, or in distress. That includes periods after meals and in the evening.

The best way to pick the perfect time is to talk to their family or caregivers. They know the signer’s rhythm, and they’ll be able to tell you when to come around. That way, you’ll maximize your chances of smooth and comfortable signing.

2. Explain Why You’re There

You know what your job is, but your elderly client may not. That’s why you should take the time to explain that you act as an impartial third party and that the state requires notarization to complete the paperwork they need.

Let them know that you are there to confirm their identity and make sure they sign without pressure from anyone. So, you are there to protect everyone’s interest.
Remember, these financial transactions can be particularly stressful, especially for the older signers. Explaining your role can help ease their mind.

3. Make Small Talk

Making small talk with the signer and their caregivers can help ease their anxiety and make them more comfortable. You can talk about their interests, current events, or any other topic they may be interested in.

A conversation is also an excellent opportunity to determine the signer’s awareness and mental presence. This process is vital for notarization, as you can’t notarize any signatures if the singers are not fully aware. You can always ask them to repeat what they are signing after you’ve explained it to them. If they are unable to do so, you may have to explain it again and then ask them to repeat it. If they cannot do it again, you should stop the process.

4. Look for the Signs of Coercion

Unfortunately, many older adults are a target of the financial scam by their close ones. That’s why you need to look closely for the signs of coercion from the moment you arrive at the signing place. Observe how the signer and family or caregivers act, and don’t be afraid to stop the notarization if there are any signs of coercion.

Some red flags include:

  • The signer seems lethargic, confused, or tired
  • Their caregiver tells you the signer is under medication
  • A family member or a caregiver appears to be pressuring them to sign
  • They are in a rush to finish the process
  • The signer is reluctant to sign the document

Make sure to assess the situation thoroughly, and if there is any doubt of financial exploitation, don’t go through with it.