Archive for Notarized signature

Need a Will? What You Need To Know to Write Your Will

Do you need a will? Find out if you need one, then get tips for writing your will.

Did you know…not everyone will need a will? If you have no relatives and don’t care if the state gets everything you own, you may not need a will. Or, if you have no assets or possessions or you’re okay with your closest relative (such as a parent or a sibling) inheriting everything you own, then you may not need a will in that situation, either. Even so, beware: states vary in how things are divvied up once you pass away.

That’s why taking the time to write a will is important if you want control over what happens to your assets, property and possessions. We offer a do-it-yourself will kit for Washington State that makes it super easy to write down your wishes. But before we get to that, let’s look at some of the basics.

What a Will Does and Doesn’t Cover

A will is a legal document that explains your wishes for distributing your property and assets. Some things aren’t established in a will, though. For instance, according to EstatePlanning.com, a service provided by The WealthCounsel Companies, if you name a beneficiary on your life insurance polity or retirement accounts, a will is not needed for that beneficiary to inherit the asset. But that also means you can’t name someone else to inherit this asset in your will, either.

Requirements for Creating a Will

You’ll need to be legally capable of creating a will, which is why witnesses are required (see below). You must also be 18 years of age or older to make a will. Once you create a will, you need to store it somewhere. If you want your loved ones to find your will, make sure to tell someone where to find it upon your death. If no one can find your will, the state will determine who inherits your property.

 Decide Who Inherits What

Decide who inherits your assets, property and possessions. Don’t forget digital assets. When filling out a will, use the recipient’s whole name, rather than identifying them as your wife or child, as this helps eliminate confusion, says Megan Leonhardt in an article written for Money magazine. She also recommends being very specific about assets, such as providing the address for property or writing down precise descriptions of personal property you plan to leave in your will.

RELATED: Click here to read our blog post about 5 things you need to know about digital assets.

 

Witnesses Required

According to a blog post by Redmond-based Pacific Northwest Law Group (PNWLG), your will must be signed in the presence of two or more witnesses. Otherwise, the will may not be valid. Holographic wills, which are written by hand and do not have witnesses), are not valid in Washington state, says PNWLG. But PNWLG says that if a holographic will was created in a state in which they’re allowed, then Washington state honors the will.

Why worry what will really happen when you can instantly download our do-it-yourself will kit, fill it in, get it witnessed by two people and you’re done? If you have questions or want to divvy up your assets in a way that requires more detailed planning, check out our lawyer referral listings.

Click here to buy an instant download of our DIY Will Kit. If you prefer, you can order a print copy, and we’ll mail the kit to you.

This blog post is not offered as specific advice, which may only be provided by an attorney based upon each individual situation. To find an attorney, click here to visit our attorney referral page.

 

What Is A Notarized Signature and Why Do I Need One?

Notary Public located in Seattle, Washington, King County

Need a notarized signature in order to file legal documents or take the next step in a legal transaction? Why do banks, courts and other legal institutions require a notary signature?

Simply put, a notarized signature is often required to witness and certify the person signing a document is who he says he is. A notary’s primary job is to prevent fraud and to give legal institutions confidence a legal document is legitimate.

Appointed by WA State

As a notary public, the official name given to people who provide notary services, we are appointed by Washington state government via the Secretary of State, to perform notary duties. We act as an impartial witness when it comes to signing important legal documents. Part of our notary duties include screening of all signers and making sure each person signs of their own free will. Part of the job includes witnessing the signing. The other part of our job requires maintaining accurate records of all notary transactions completed.

How It Works

When you go to a notary, you’ll be asked to provide identification to verify you are who you say you are. Some types of legal documents require you to provide two forms of identification, so check in advance to find out what you need to bring. Do NOT sign your legal documents before coming to our or any other notary’s office. Once your ID and willingness to sign is verified, then you sign the documents in front of the notary. You must do so without anyone forcing you to sign. Once you sign, the notary adds their own signature, an official notary seal and commission details. You now have a notarized signature.

Qualifications for a Notary

In Washington state, one must obtain a surety bond from an insurance company in order to apply to become a notary public. You also attend a notary education class and must learn the laws and rules for becoming a notary public.

Types of Documents Requiring a Notary

The most common types of documents requiring a notarized signature include the following. By no means is this a complete list, though.

  • Wills (click here to buy an instant download of a will)
  • Living Trusts
  • Home mortgage Deed of Trust
  • Power of attorney designations (click here to buy an instant download of a power of attorney)
  • Prenuptial agreements (click here to buy an instant download of a prenuptial agreement)
  • Contracts
  • Bill of Sale
  • Transferring an automobile
  • Consent for a minor to travel abroad

Give Attorneys’ Information Bureau/Do It Yourself Legal Kits a call at (206) 622-1909 to find out what you need to get your signature notarized. Our office, located in the King County Courthouse in Seattle, is open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for notary services (please note, we’re closed from 12 to 1:00 p.m.)