Bob Timm's "RealMan" Blog

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Can I get a Witness

The word WITNESS brings up all kinds of images in our heads but for a Notary Public it's usually one of three ways that the term is applied.

 

Is the common term "witness" the same as the term a Notary Public would use? Yes to some extent.For notaries it's one of three things:

1) Witnesses to wills and powers of attorney are called "signature witnesses" The legal role they play is to be present when the signer ads his/her name to the document. In this case witnesses also sign the document.

2) On a witness Jurat their job is to witness to the signers identity. A credible witness confirms a signers identity much the same as a document (like a drivers license) would. Credible witnesses are a greater form of identity verification than a printed ID because a real person is personally confirming to a personally known fact, the signers true identity.

3) A subscribing witness is a witness who attests to the genuineness of a signature where the principal cannot appear in front of the notary due to health reasons or even death. The subscribing witness swears by affidavit that they know the document belongs to the signer AND that they were present when the signer signed it.

WARD COUNTY NOTARY SERVICES

ROBERT L. TIMM, OWNER

201 Main Street South, Suite 116

 Minot North Dakota 58701

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Call or text 701-720-8513

Comment balloon 14 commentsBob "RealMan" Timm • February 27 2019 08:39PM

Comments

Hi Bob "RealMan" Timm - I did not realized the different distinction between these terms. Thanks for the definition. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 9 months ago

Bob "RealMan" Timm ~ Very informative video. I was under the impression that a witness was someone who only witnessed a signature!

Posted by Suzanne Strickler, School is never out for the Successful. (Realty Mark Associates) 9 months ago

Ah yes, "Subscribing Witness."  Back in the 1970s, I acted as one on a will.  Then the decedent's step children contested her will, because she signed with a mark.  She was ruled mentally sound, but had extreme vertigo in her last days.  In court I had to attest that the mark was in fact her signature.  I was a family friend, not a notary.  I had signed as a witness, but not a subscribing witness.  I didn't even know what the term was.  They tried to throw out the will because of that fact.  However, the judge ruled in favor of the lady's stated heirs, because the law said, "The subscribing witness SHOULD sign as subscribing witness."  It did not state, they MUST sign as subscribing witness.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 9 months ago

Good evening Bob "RealMan" Timm ,

I love this video! So informative..thanks for the education on notaries and the three things of distinction!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 9 months ago

You are welcome Sheri Sperry - MCNE® I learned myself by researching for this post.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 9 months ago

Thank you Suzanne Strickler I thought the same until I did a little research.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 9 months ago

Myrl Jeffcoat the greed can really come out when it comes to executing a will. I hate to say it but I've seen it in my own family.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 9 months ago

You are welcome Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR I'm glad it was informative and didn't put anyone asleep.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 9 months ago

Morning Bob.

I refuse to notarize any document unless I see their identification, and they sign the document in front of me

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) 9 months ago

Subtle differences, Bob, between the various types of witnesses, which I'm sure many people don't totally understand. Great explanation.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) 9 months ago

That has been my MO too James Dray but I "get" that 2nd one when it says the witness is someone I know well and they are vouching for the identity of someone they know. As it was stated that is more credible than a paper ID.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 9 months ago

Thank you Nina Hollander . I'm glad I studied this information.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 9 months ago

I used to be a Notary, way back when. This is a great explanation regarding the term "witness."  Now I'm hearing that song with the chorus, "Can I get a witness.." 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 9 months ago

I remember that song as well Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD .

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 9 months ago

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