Estate Plan Signings

Hello guys. I just wanted to consult with anyone here. If anyone has done Estate Plan signings, and if so. Did you have to get a course in order to be more familiar with the type of attention that these signings require. Thank you all for your time. The basic question here is:
Is there any special training that a notary needs to have to do these signings.?


Short answer - no

All you are doing is notarizing signatures - several at the same time, but the contents of the docs are not your concern - only the notarizations. Notarize, don’t analyze. Know your notary laws and procedures cold and you can handle any request- this is general notary work, so price accordingly as you’ll be paid at the table.

Keep in mind, there can be numerous notarizations so allow sufficient time, also. If the people have already looked over the documents (or prepared them themselves) then your time will be shorter; if you’re contracted by a firm that specializes in these and you’ll be at the table while the docs are reviewed, allow (and charge) for additional table time.

Also, be clear with the signers that if witnesses are required, they must provide them. Some packages (wills, deeds, etc) require witnesses. This is on signers to provide them.

I like these assignments. Best of luck.


Hello, thank you for setting me straight. I feel the same as you. I was able to carry out such a signing earlier this year. One thing that I have not consider was charging for the time that I am present. To me, it seemed that taking a course for this was not a “must” POA’s, Deeds, & Wills are all docs that I have done in the past. I really appreciate the time you took to answer my question. Have a wonderful week.


Depending on your state, there are certain documents you cannot both witness and notarize. So make sure they have witnesses.


They are no more difficult than a Real Estate transaction. Make certain you know your State’s laws so you can get it right. If the documents are prepared by an attorney and they like your work, you’ll get return business from them. This is one of the things I’m doing during the housing slump.

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So true, in Florida the only forms that’s really ok on is real estate, not estate planning.

I tend to charge more than your typical notary for those. I tell my clients I have a liability fee. PoA can get messy; if family members, or anyone really, decides to take it to court and you are summoned, you are not paid. The chance a parent permission slip gets contested in court is next to none. PoA the risk is so much higher, though I have been lucky. Also something to remember, you can charge 10-20 bucks to do estate docs, a lawyer in his office who had his paralegal draft it for him is going to charge 350-500+ to do the same thing you just did. Don’t undersell yourself. I charge less than 100 and let them know the average rate of a lawyer to just execute the paperwork. (no, I do not dare practice law during these but in most cases the paperwork does speak for itself)

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While there is no training for documents, you do need to know what you are allowed to say and what not. You’ll also want to be familiar with what documents need to be notarized, and what don’t.

I have been working almost exclusively with estate planning attorneys all of this year. I make around $4000 a month just from them. I developed a formula for making this work, as all attorneys are notaries, and their staff is also. So the real problem is helping them understand why it’s better to use a mobile notary instead of in office staff.

I teach this program, but I can’t advertise that here as it’s not allowed. The firm I developed this with has told me they hope I am teaching other notaries how to make this happen, because they have saved so much money by using me, and have freed up so much time that they are able to expand their reach, and close more plans.


If you notarise a will look for empti spaces(no such should be on pages printed areas). Also innitial the pages.
I had a case when the attorney grab the paperwork and I wasnt able to check my work. She was keeping her hand on the printed material until I signed and just grabed it.
I felt very bad and still feel something wasn’t right. .

In my opinion if an attorney (or anybody else, for that matter) wants to take, grab or control the paperwork before the job is done, stop the signing and either regain control of what you’re doing or politely but firmly resign the job and forego the fee. Something is wrong and you both know it.
That’s what I’d do, anyway.

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I didn’t have inication tis will happened.

Like some others, I’ve seen an increase in these. I do charge more than normal GNW. Mainly because we take our sweet time as there is only one copy to get it right the first time. Most of the packages I’ve been presented at the table are professionally prepared by an online service or their lawyer. They all have been pretty thick with lots of signatures and came in a sealed box or large envelope. My most recent was a married couple. They had several joint documents, each needing 2 witnesses and a notarization. Then, there were several documents for each person, also each needing 2 witnesses and a notarization. The whole scenario took us about 45 minutes. Granted, there was chit chat. The signers were best friends with their witnesses, and were also involved in the witnesses’ Estate Planning package a while back. I have had other packages where young children were involved, so they were also signing documents that laid out the plan for their care should something happen to both signers. One couple traveling in my area verbally gifted me their 4 children (jokingly, of course) because they forgot that document in their package. I said, “I mean… You have my number. Write it down somewhere and have them give me a call if something happens!” It’s all fun and games until I get a random call from Ohio… hahahaha

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One thing that was pointed out in a recent training webinar for Vermont notaries given by the Vermont Bar Association is that the witness requirements for short-term real estate powers of attorney are more lenient than for powers of attorney in general. I’ve been able to both witness and notarize POAs for real estate transactions, but the rules are different for the kind of POAs your likely to encounter in estate planning. So I would never be the witness for a document I was notarizing during an estate planning signing.

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I would disagree. There’s a lot more to consider in estate planning documents than signing and stamping. I think I really benefited from having access to Laura Biewer’s training videos on this subject. She presents the most common types of documents you’ll find in these packages.

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Be careful that you don’t crossed up with your State’s Laws. For example, Texas doesn’t allow for additional fees for, liability PoAs, Estate Documents, Permission Slips, etc… Texas does allow for reasonable travel fees. UPS got in trouble in Texas when they were charging upwards of $12 per notarization when Texas Law only allows for $6 for the first signature.

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