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Conflicts of interest during notarization

Conflicts of interest

Notaries are trusted to be unbiased and impartial in every notarial act they perform. Conflicts of interest can occur when a Notary has additional interests such as gaining a financial or material benefit from the transaction. A Notary acting out of self-interest can compromise trust in the notarial act, and raise questions about the transaction. They can also be held financially responsible for damages.

 

When might a conflict of interest occur?

 

  • When the Notary is a named party in the document.
  • When the Notary stands to benefit either financially or materially.

 

Conflict of interest can also occur when notaries are asked to notarize for family members. Some states have specific statutes that prohibit the Notary from officiating for certain relatives, while others are less explicit in addressing these circumstances. Generally, a notary should refrain from notarizing for family members, to avoid any questions about impartiality.

 

Avoiding conflicts of interest will ensure that you are appropriately conducting your notary business. By remaining an impartial party to all notarial transactions you are protecting the public and yourself.