Must Know: Securing Witnesses for Power of Attorney in Hospitals and Care Facilities
I visit hospitals and care facilities often to notarize Power of Attorney documents. Many times family members are hurrying to help a loved execute their Power of Attorney as that loved one’s capacity to understand the document is diminishing along with their health. In a hurried state of mind, family members focus on the apparent and sometimes significant hurdle of finding a mobile Notary to travel to the patient. Fortunately, local hospitals refer me so I can take care of the notarial aspect.
You Still Need Witnesses
But, fixating on the mobile Notary part of the equation, the family often overlooks the obvious: two blank spaces for Witnesses to sign. The execution of Power of Attorney documents in the State of Florida requires that two disinterested parties be witness to the signing, and they themselves must sign as witnesses (Chapter 709.2105, The 2018 Florida Statutes). Luckily, Florida also says that a Notary can act as a witness as well as notarize the document, so there’s only a need for one other.
You Can’t Just Grab Someone
If you’re a family member of someone in care, you might expect to be able to simply ask a facility employee, a nurse or caregiver, to take a moment to witness a signature. Well, not necessarily. I know quite a number of facilities that don’t allow employees to do this. And I’ve had several customers stopped in their tracks, literally, turn-the-car-around-and-go-back-home sort of thing when I cautioned them to check with their particular care facility regarding this issue. The point here is don’t assume that you’ll be able to just “grab someone in the hall” to use as a witness. Check first, you may find that you’ll need to bring a witness with you, someone who has no interest in or that will benefit from the document’s execution.
More on Power of Attorney
To have your Power Of Attorney directive notarized at your location, call or text us at (813) 591-0820.
The information above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.