Notary Home Study Course

Part 2
Providing Certified copies of Power of Attorney

Let’s briefly discuss what a Power of Attorney is before we move on to certification of a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a document which delegates or legally allows one person to sign documents on behalf of another party. A General Power of Attorney may allow the person to sign almost any document without restrictions while a Specific Power of Attorney will specify which types of transactions are permissible. For example, a Power of Attorney may be used when a husband and wife are purchasing property and one of the two is not available at the time of loan signing. A Specific Power of Attorney may be granted by the absent spouse which allows the other spouse to sign the documents on his or her behalf. This is a specific power of attorney because it is specific to this particular real estate transaction.
When the person delegated with the right to sign on someone else’s behalf, the correct method of signing should be followed. Suppose Jane Doe has the Power of Attorney for John Doe. Jane Doe will sign the document: John Doe by Jane Doe, as his Attorney in Fact. The words, “as his Attorney in Fact” indicate that she has a Power of Attorney for John Doe and may legally sign the document on his behalf. 

Sometimes a notary may be requested to provide a certified copy of a Power of Attorney. A certified copy means that the certifying person, has examined the original document and the copy and that the copy is a true and correct duplicate of the original document. If someone brings you a copy of a power of attorney to be certified, you must have in front of you both the original and the copy for comparison purposes. Most notaries will simply make their own copy and certify that copy rather than read and compare each word with the original.