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5 ways to Streamline Estate Plans when signing with the Notary

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5 ways to Streamline Estate Plans when signing with the Notary

As a law firm, time is valuable for you and your clients. When it’s time for your clients to meet with a notary, we’ve developed a few methods to make it fast. If your clients have read through the documents and are entirely ready to go, You should be able to sign the estate plan in 15 minutes or less.


1. Use a reliable and experienced notary


By using an experienced and reliable notary, you can trust in advance that they are prepared for your estate plan signing before it’s even started. The notary will understand the paperwork coming and how exactly to care for it. Having worked with the same reliable notary again and again, you will become a two part team quickly streamlining through your established system. The notary may also serve as a second set of eyes to make sure all documents are executed properly and nothing is missed. By having a reliable and experienced notary, you will become efficient while inadvertently employing a quality control agent for each document signing.  Life just got easier. Save approximately 30 minutes.


2. Forward the documents or document names to your Notary in Advance


The more information a notary has before they get started, the better. An estate planning attorney may eliminate the extra time it takes for the notary to fill out acknowledgments or journal entries by providing the notary with the documents (or list of doc names) in advance. By doing so, the notary will be able to be prepared. They’ll may have acknowledgments, jurats, journal entries, and even invoicing ready in advance. At most, all your notary will have to do at the table is sign, stamp, and affix the certificate. This will only take 10 seconds as opposed to the multiple minutes per document. The notary will also feel prepared and relaxed, being able to help you with organization and double-checking. Save approximately 1-3 minutes per notarized document.

3. Include Acknowledgments (or Jurats) with Notary Name already Pre-filled.


Many Law firms and estate planning attorneys have found that it is easier to include notary acknowledgments (or jurats) already completed. The notary certificate would be attached to the back of a document like a trust or a power of attorney when documents are drafted. It would be completed in advance with the appearance date, notary commission name, and signer’s names. The notary simply just signs and stamps the document during the signing ceremony.  The other and more time consuming option would be for the notary to have to fill out their own notarial certificates after each document. By providing pre-fill acknowledgements you can save time and eliminate notary mistakes before the signing even happens.  Save approximately 1-3 minutes per notarized document.


4. Ensure Signer Understands Documents and All Clients Questions are Answered Before the Signings.


Having automated a system to ensure signers are all ready, many attorneys will send the documents to clients in advance with plenty of time for review. Sending out an additional email in prior to your notary appointment will make sure specifics are addressed. That email may touch on areas within the documents that typically would provoke questions or need clarity at the conference table.  Explaining these things out in advance will also eliminate unease and uncertainty at the conference table. Knowing signers are confident before the appointment will also minimize the possibility for rushed last minute corrections which give way for errors.  Create a system to establish confidence for your clients in advance. That confidence will translate into swift signers.  Save approximately 15-60 minutes.


5. Repeat your perfected Estate Plan Signing routine.


You and your notary have perfected the signing routine! The classical music is playing softly at volume 2. The fancy blue pens lay perfectly uniform in the center of the table. The thermostat is set at a comfortable 72 degrees. Your clients enter the room refreshed and like a beautiful symphony, the papers begin to be passed from person to person with perfect harmony. Everyone is personable, laughter is shared, and the perfect estate plan ceremony is being conducted. You are that conductor! Your reputation for being exceptional grows and your business flourishes. You’ve done it! Estate plan finished within your perfect parameters!

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