Confict of Interest
A notary public may notarize documents for relatives or others, unless doing so would provide a direct fnancial or benefcial interest to the notary public. Given California’s community property law, care should be exercised if notarizing for a spouse or a domestic partner.
A notary public would have a direct fnancial or benefcial interest to a transaction in the following situations (Government Code section 8224):
- If a notary public is named, individually, as a principal to a fnancial transaction.
- If a notary public is named, individually, as any of the following to a real property transaction: benefciary, grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, vendor, vendee, lessor, or lessee.
A notary public would not have a direct fnancial or benefcial interest in a transaction if a notary public is acting in the capacity of an agent, employee, insurer, attorney, escrow holder, or lender for a person having a direct fnancial or benefcial interest in the transaction.
If in doubt as to whether or not to notarize, the notary public should seek the advice of an attorney.