Signing at someone's death bed

Today I had a call to come and sign end of life paperwork at someone’s home. She had terminal colon cancer and was on her death bed. I wanted to do all at the kitchen table and asked would we be there and the sister of the lady I was notarizing for was in her bedroom and it was too difficult for her to move around. I had no problem with that nor did I have a problem with the friendly Retriever and the cat who nibbled at my calves. The hardest thing was the notary stamp and finding a hard enough surface to make sure the whole stamp was legible. I had to stamp 2x. It was a good experience although sad but I decided to order an embosser seal from NNA. Just for instances like this one. I had to find the end of the bed with a flat surface to get a good stamp. I had everyone in the room raise their right hand to swear or affirm. All in a day’s work.


i keep 2 clip boards (legal size) in my bag!! the hard surface makes a huge difference with our stamps


I learned my lesson after signing on a truck bed. I always carry 2 clipboards in my bag and have 2 extra ones in the trunk just in case I have more signers. Those stamps just don’t want to work unless the surface is hard and steady.


I also carry legal-sized clipboards for just this type of situation.

1 Like

Yes, I have had similar experiences, and with covid I have had very difficult borrower’s. Telling me to stand in the cold and rain and sign on who knows what. It’s difficult to take the lead and express which what you need to make things happen when the borrowers can be very difficult. I know. Good job!

I’m really confused by this. All you do is witness the signature, sign and when you get to a more stable surface, apply your stamp. You are certifying you witnessed their signature, there isn’t a hard rule that you can’t wait to affix your stamp until you have a flat surface. If you aren’t sure that’s ok, call NNA and ask but I’m certain it’s acceptable as long as you’ve truly witnessed their signature.

Depends on state law - in Florida the notarization must be done in front of the signer.

In most cases you cannot use an embosser in place of the seal. You can use it in addition to to it.

Illegal in my state - Notary must sign and stamp in front of the individual.

1 Like

I do also. You just never know when you won’t be at a table.