Are lawyers capable of certifying documents? The answer depends on the jurisdiction you practice in. In some countries, lawyers are required to be able to sign and certify documents as a matter of course, while in others, they may not have those skills at all. In this article, we take a look at the different roles that lawyers play in regards to certifying documents and how they do it. We also look at the pros and cons of having a lawyer certify your documents and layout a checklist of steps you can use to make sure you get the right certification from your lawyer.
Why is Needed To Certify Your Document?
A certification is an attestation that you are capable of doing something. For example, a psychologist can attest that he or she is trained to evaluate mental states. A physical therapist can attest that he or she is qualified to treat musculoskeletal pain, etc. Simply put, it’s the official confirmation of your competency in a certain field. For most certifications, there’s no legal component—it’s purely for self-assurance and for others with whom you work to be confident in your capabilities.
However, there are also times when you may need to certify that you are legally able to do something. For example, getting your driver’s license requires certification by a doctor that you are physically and mentally fit enough to drive. Similarly, marriage certifications state that both parties are legally allowed to get married. Because laws vary so widely depending on location, it is important to understand whether or not your document will require legal certification.
What Documents Will You Certify?
Lawyers can certify documents. Many people confuse what it means to certify a document with witnessing one. While they are similar in that both involve signing an affirmation, legal professionals use certification in different ways depending on their profession. To understand how lawyers use certifications, let’s break down each term individually.
A notary public witnesses a document by signing or dating it after verifying its authenticity. The American Bar Association defines certification as attesting to facts contained within a document rather than witnessing its signing. Each state has slightly different requirements regarding who can legally sign off on these certifications, but attorneys are widely considered to be qualified for the job in most situations.
What Do You Need To Certify A Document?
To properly certify a document, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of what is included in it. In general, you will only want to certify those sections that pertain to you or an organization you represent. Other sections, such as those containing signatures from multiple parties, should be left unsigned. For legal certification purposes, your signature should be placed above any statements made by others on your behalf.
The idea is that your signature verifies and confirms their statements and makes them legally binding upon both them and yourself if need be. Additionally, if there are any agreements involved in said documents or attached contracts then they may also contain additional elements for certification such as an official state seal or notary information if necessary.
Can Lawyers Certify Documents?
Lawyer certification allows users to certify documents. It also allows them to save their signature as a template and place it on future documents. Lawyer certification is a simple, time-saving feature that has a wide range of uses for everyday consumers and professionals alike.
A lawyer can sign off on an affidavit after you have written it, saving time and ensuring your word choice is legally binding if any disputes arise from what you’ve said in writing.
In addition, lawyers can use lawyer certification as a useful marketing tool by including their contact information at the bottom of every document they create for business purposes. Allowing people to reach out by simply clicking on their name is an easy way for lawyers to drum up new clients!
If you’re trying to decide whether lawyer certification is right for your business, look at all of its benefits. Not only can it be used by professionals who deal with documents regularly—such as real estate agents, accountants, and legal specialists—but it can also benefit anyone who wants to be able to approve an official document quickly and easily.
No longer will you have to print off a document, sign it on paper, scan it into your computer then email or fax that file back to someone else! Lawyer certification provides a quick and easy solution for signing documents remotely without requiring any special software. It’s an essential tool for professional products that will save you time and ensure your digital signature has legal validity.
The general steps you need to take to have an attorney certify your Documents
- The document must be notarized by a Notary Public.
- Your attorney should then certify that a) He has read and understood what is in your document, b) That you have given him all relevant information that he needs to provide advice on your situation, and c) That he can legally advise you on your particular set of facts or legal matter(s).
- For an attorney to officially certify a document, there should be some sort of stamp or seal from his law firm so others know he is duly authorized to give such opinions and affirmations.
- If you are attempting to get something filed with a court, having an attorney (preferably one who practices primarily litigation) simply note at the end of your signed statement that I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of California… etc., is technically insufficient because it does not meet state statutory requirements for documentation filed with courts.
- Finally, certification means different things depending on where it’s being used – so if you’re seeking certification elsewhere than with courts (bankruptcy court, IRS/TECS), consult with an experienced professional first to determine what they will need in terms of documentation.
The general rule of thumb is that lawyers are not allowed to certify documents. This is because an officer of the court has to certify documents. While you will occasionally see a lawyer acting as an officer of court if they are involved in arbitration, you must know that your lawyer cannot also perform work duties, such as certifying documents. The only exceptions are certain states where documents need to be certified by attorneys due to legal constraints, but these limitations will vary based on jurisdiction. Do make sure you check with your state’s bar association for more information before hiring a lawyer who can certify or not certify certain types of documents. You may find some lawyers who can do so and others who cannot.