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A Notary Public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.Californians who opt to have their advance directive notarized may encounter problems if the notary’s certificate of acknowledgement does not include a newly-mandated consumer-specific disclaimer.

Effective January 1, 2015, California Civil Code sections 1189 and 1195 and California Government Code section 8202 require every acknowledgment, proof of execution of an instrument, and affidavit sworn to before a notary public within California, include the following language:

“A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.”

This notification must appear in a box at the top of the certificate, and it must be legible.

Notaries in California who do not use the new wording will be out of compliance with state law.

The notification seeks to reduce fraud by letting consumers know that the Notary’s seal and signature do not authenticate or endorse the contents of a document.

Important Reminders:

  • Use of a notary public for an advance directive is only required if you do not have two qualified witnesses sign the form.
  • A patient advocate or ombudsman must witness the form if you are a patient in a skilled nursing facility.

Because most advance directive forms currently available are not California-specific, they are unlikely to include a box with new disclaimer language. Therefore, a valid acknowledgement form with the new language should be used and attached to the advance directive.

Additional information on the change to notary regulations is available on the California Secretary of State website at www.sos.ca.gov.

4 Responses to “Change in law may affect advance directives notarized after Jan. 1, 2015”

  1. On september 21, 2013 my dad who is 93 as we speak signed and authorize me a son to disposed of his health as noted on the Advance Health Care Directive form 3-1S. Now my dad is in hospice under Optimal Cares from Fresco Ca. They claimed that form 3-1S myst be notarized. Is this correct/ thanks in advance for your assistance to this matter.
    Regards

    Ramiro Hrnandez

    Reply
    • Kelley Queale

      You do NOT need a Notary Public if you have two qualified witnesses sign the Advance Directive. The witnesses must sign a statement on the Advance Directive indicating that they a) know who you are or have been shown proof of your identity, b) are 18 years old or more, c) are not your healthcare provider or working for your provider, d) are not your healthcare agent, and e) are not employed in the place where you live.

      One of the two witnesses must sign a statement indicating that they are not related to you by blood, marriage or adoption and will not receive any property or money from you after your death.

      Reply
    • Kelley Queale

      You do not need a Notary Public if you have two qualified witnesses sign the document. The witnesses must sign a statement on the Advance Directive indicating that they a) know who you are or have been shown proof of your identity, b) are 18 years old or more, c) are not your healthcare provider or working for your provider, d) are not your healthcare agent, and e) are not employed in the place where you live.

      One of the two witnesses must sign a statement indicating that they are not related to you by blood, marriage or adoption and will not receive any property or money from you after your death.

      Reply

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