Notarizing Forms Made Using WillMaker 2021

WillMaker & Trust 2021 does not provide notary certificates for most documents, as did previous editions of WillMaker. Over the years, we’ve consistently heard from WillMaker users that local notary publics often prefer to use their own forms. This indicates that we should leave the notary forms to the notaries public. After all, notary certificates are truly the domain of notaries--not lawyers--and local notaries know best what rules they must follow.

There are two exceptions to this new procedure: WillMaker will continue to provide notary certificates for 1) health care directives and 2) self-proving affidavits because the statutory language for those forms often provides specific notary text.

For all other forms that require notarization, the notary cannot tell you what type of notary certificate you need. However, the signing instructions that print with all WillMaker documents clearly explain how to ask for the correct form. For most documents, you will ask for an “acknowledgment.” (For the Affidavit of Domicile, you will ask for a “jurat"). The notary will provide the correct form and instruct you on how to proceed.

Finding a notary should not be a problem. You can search for one online or ask a friend or community listserv for recommendations. Most mailbox stores (like UPS stores) and many office supply stores also have notaries on-site. If you cannot, or do not want to, go to a notary yourself, you may be able to find a mobile notary who will come to you. Conveniently, many states now allow remote notarization for some documents.

Call the notary before you go. On that call:

  • Tell the notary what kind of certificate you need--an acknowledgment or a jurat, as indicated in your form’s signing instructions.
  • Confirm that the notary has “loose” notary certificates to attach to your document.
  • Inquire about remote or mobile notary services, if desired.
  • Ask how much the notarization costs and what kind of identification you should bring.