Elder Law Group Blog

How Do I Sign Documents When I Am Physically Unable?

Jun 29, 2017 | News

In Washington State you can execute legal documents even if you are physically unable to sign your name. State law allows for a Notary Public to sign on your behalf as long as the following conditions are met:

  • You are physically unable to sign your name or make a mark.
  • The Notary Public must “determine and certify from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence that the person appearing before the Notary Public is physically unable to sign his or her name or make a mark and is otherwise competent.” RCW 42.44.080(2)
  • The Notary Public must include in the acknowledgment a statement that the signature was obtained under the authority ofRCW 64.08.100 which reads in part: “Any person who is otherwise competent but is physically unable to sign his or her name or make a mark may make an acknowledgment authorized under this chapter by orally directing the Notary Public or other authorized officer taking the acknowledgment to sign the person’s name on his or her behalf.”
  • You must tell the Notary Public to sign your name on your behalf.

Further, you must be mentally competent to understand what the Notary Public is signing for you.
Can I Sign Documents If My Signature is Difficult to Read?
If a physical impairment has affected the quality of your penmanship, you can still sign legal documents. As long as you can make a mark that you consider to be your signature, then you do not need a Notary Public to sign for you. Legally, that mark is adequate; however, if your signature is a mark or otherwise difficult to read, then you should have it notarized in the event that someone later tries to argue that you did not sign the document.
Elder Law Group PLLC Focuses On The Particular Needs Of Seniors
At Elder Law Group PLLC we know that making arrangements for the eventuality of aging, Long-Term Care, and mental or physical incapacity can be very stressful and emotional. We strive to remove some of the burden from you and your family by helping you create an Estate Plan that addresses your needs in detail.
Our firm offers legal services and guidance in the following areas:

We invite you to learn more about our team here, and read what our clients have to say about us here.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate guidance on the particular needs of seniors and their families.

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