By Barbara Sonafelt— As Notaries Public we have a lot to offer our societies and communities we live in. That being said, we must also realize the increase of security issues and identity laws causes far too many issues for us in our communities.
One of biggest problem areas we have is within the senior community. The majority of general everyday notary work involves seniors. Health care decisions must be made and financial decisions have to be handled. Most times these documents require notarization.
This issue is most often overlooked until it is too late. They are not addressed until seniors have moved to senior communities or are in health care/assisted living facilities. They have stopped driving years ago and they did not maintain their drivers’ license. And there in lies the problem. Without proper ID how can we accomplish notarization?
I do not know how many times I have had to deny service to someone in a hospital who did not have valid ID. It was not that they did not have it with them, they did not maintain it. Next I see that blank look from the family member who does not understand what to do now. These are obstacles that could have been fixed very easily earlier on, but now it is crunch time and they are stymied.
As Notaries Public, I believe, we should make it our mission to help solve these problems before they surface. We must help the communities we serve to understand the new requirements and eliminate these concerns. We should be spreading the word and reinforcing this information to all seniors, their families or caretakers and the general public.
So why not go to your local senior center and give a talk? Why not contact your local health facilities, i.e. hospitals, nursing centers, etc. and promote the fact that these ID issues need to be addressed before there is an issue. As Notaries Public we must help the communities we serve to understand these new requirements and eliminate the concerns and obstacles of all who need our services.