Question: Last year my girlfriend notarized my signature on a contract.  Since then, we got married. Is her notarization nullified as a result?

Answer: A plain reading of the Massachusetts Executive Order establishing standards of practice for notaries public shows that one spouse cannot notarize a document for another spouse.

Specifically, the order reads as follows: “A notary public is a spouse, domestic partner, parent, guardian, child, or sibling of the principal, including in-law, step, or half relatives, except where such persons witness a legal document prepared by the notary public who is an attorney licensed in Massachusetts.”

However, in your case, the notarization occurred prior to your marriage.  As such, there is no concern for any problems here.  The above restriction does not nullify the notary act retroactively.

Surprisingly, while researching your question, I discovered rule allowing a notary to  sign a document on behalf of someone who is physically unable to sign.  This is true, as long as two independent witnesses are present and sign the document as well.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real estate, estate planning and business law in Billerica at 790 Boston Road and can be reached with questions at hlawoffice.com, 978-671-0711 or via email: James@hlawoffice.com.  

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