Monthly Archives: February 2014

Mr Bird-T Takes a Ride

my cats are evilToday (2/27/14) was a long day. The big story of the day was the attempted murder. Yes, our evil cats tried to kill my little cockatiel bird “Mr. Bird-T”. I was running to a medical office to notarize an affidavit when Stacey called me with the horrible news. When she found our little boy, he had a hole by his leg and blood was running down it. The stupid cats had gotten to him, and from the pictures I didn’t think he was going to make it.

I ended up bringing him to an animal hospital. Our little bird was lucky that the puncture wounds were limited to the area around his leg. If they had gotten to him abdomen, he may not have lived. The doctor checked him out and gave him a prescription for oral antibiotics. He will be ok, but it’s going to take time for the wound to heal up. It looked so bad!

I didn’t have time to bring him back home, so Mr. Bird-T got to ride with me to New Orleans for a refinance closing. He did great on the ride and had fun pooping on the blanket and me. As I write this, he’s back in his cage with Mrs. Bird-T and cleaning his bloody feathers. If anybody wants some murderous cats, call me!

In other notary news, I also helped a man with a few vehicle transfers, and took care of some other mundane business. I also met with a loan officer that has become one of my biggest fans, so that was fun. Tomorrow is going to be nuts! It looks like I will be doing at least three reverse mortgage closings (very time consuming!), and who knows what else. Fridays are almost always overwhelming, so I’m used to it. Hey, when you start complaining about too much business, that’s a pretty good thing. Right?

Thank you for reading my notary blog. If you need a notary, call me at 225-907-5280. It’s time for bed, and poor Mr. Bird-T!!

Power of Attorney FAQ

sample louisiana power of attorney formI have helped hundreds of people with a Louisiana Power of Attorney (POA), and I have heard so many of the same questions over the years. I am creating this Power of Attorney frequently asked questions post so that I can refer people to it for answers.

Please keep in mind that this information is general in nature, it may not apply in your situation, it does not form an attorney/client relationship, and that to get specific legal advice for your situation you should go hire an attorney.

  • What is a Power of Attorney? A POA creates an agency, or as we call it in Louisiana a “mandate”. Think of it as a contract. One party is the principal, the one creating the POA. The other party is the agent, the one acting on behalf of the principal. The principal wants someone to represent him on certain matters. The Power of Attorney allows the principal to name his agent to represent him, and for the agent to agree to represent the principal. It’s really as simple as that. Within the actual document you will define and identify the parties, explain when it is to go into effect, announce the powers to be exercised on behalf of the principal, and list any limitations or restrictions.
  • What is a “Durable Power of Attorney”? Durable means that the POA will continue to be in effect, even in the principal is incapacitated. The POA does not cease to function just because the principal is incapacitated. If a POA is not durable, it could be construed as no longer applying upon incapacitation. As an example, let’s say that John has a durable POA. John falls into a coma. Can Jim, John’s agent, continue to represent him, even though John is not conscious? Yes, because the POA is durable, it is in effect and Jim can continue his duties.
  • What is a “Springing Power of Attorney”? If it is springing, the POA will not come into effect until a future condition is met. The condition is usually a form of incapacitation or interdiction. In other words, the POA will not be used until the principal is unable to act for himself. Let’s say that Jill creates a springing POA naming Bob as her agent. Jill is mentally competent and in good health. Will Bob be able to act in her place? No he can’t. The powers granted in this type of POA will not be transferred until Jill become incapacitated. For instance, if Jill falls into a coma, Bob can then act in her place. These springing POA’s usually require the certification of doctors or a court order.
  • What is a “General Power of Attorney”? A general POA covers just about everything that you can think of. You are basically granting your agent the powers to represent you in almost any situation.
  • What is a “Specific Power of Attorney”? The powers granted to the agent in a specific POA are limited. These are common when appointing someone to represent you in the purchase of real estate, a car, business, etc. They are also used to sell goods or place a mortgage on them. You are granting your agent the power to act in your place for a very specific purpose. They are usually restricted to a certain date range and for a very particular thing.
  • Do I need witnesses to sign the Power of Attorney? In Louisiana you need two adult witnesses that are mentally competent. They need to witness your signature, and then sign their own. The witnesses should have a proper ID to verify who they are to the notary public.
  • Can I use a copy of my Power of Attorney? The answer is- maybe. If you are the agent, and you are trying to perform a certain act on behalf of the principal, you will likely be asked to present the POA. Some places may be fine with a simple copy of it, and some will want to see the original. I always recommend showing the original POA, offering to let the business make a copy for their records, but never giving up your original.
  • Can the agent use my Power of Attorney to steal my money? Your POA should have several restrictions. It should limit what your agent can do. One of those restrictions should say that he can not make gifts of your property to himself. At the end of the day though, many agents do improperly abuse the POA to steal from their principals. This is why it is so important to only convey powers to someone that you trust 100%. Sure, if they steal your money you can sue them, but who wants to spend thousands of dollars chasing what they have likely already blown?
  • What is a “Healthcare Power of Attorney”? In this type of POA, you will name an agent (or agents) to represent you in healthcare matters. If you are unable to make decisions for yourself in a medical situation, the doctors can request answers from your agent. Instead of letting your family fight over who should tell the doctors what to do, this is your way of appointing one person to make the call. It is a very intelligent thing to do!
  • What is a “Financial Power of Attorney”? It is a general POA, without the healthcare portion. You appoint an agent to represent you in many matters, but not healthcare choices.
  • How do I cancel a Power of Attorney? It depends upon if you recorded it at the clerk of court or not. If you recorded your POA at the clerk of court, your cancellation of it needs to be recorded as well. If you did not have the POA recorded, you can cancel the agency my mailing a notice to your agent. I would make sure that the cancellation is clearly worded, and that it is mailed certified return receipt for your records.
  • Do I need to record the Power of Attorney? If it is a specific POA that is being used to buy real estate, or to mortgage real estate, it will need to be recorded along with the mortgage or conveying deed in Louisiana. Otherwise, no it doesn’t have to be recorded.
  • How much does a Power of Attorney cost? It varies so much that it’s really hard to give an accurate figure. If you called me to create a POA, I would write the document, create three originals, drive to you, notarize all of them, and make sure that you understand it. My typical fee is in the $200 range. I have heard figures from $200 to $800, so I’m really not sure what the average would be.

If you have any other POA questions that are not answered above, feel free to give me a call at 225-907-5280. While I mainly work in the Baton Rouge area, I have driven as far as New Orleans and Lake Charles to help customers with a Power of Attorney. I am available 24/7, and I can meet you anywhere such as your hospital, nursing home or office.

Property Revelations Wednesday

baton rouge propertyToday (2/26/14) was a good today. Unfortunately, I missed out on five jobs though. Two were impossible because of time conflicts, and three were after hours notary job that I couldn’t get to because of car issues. That’s at least $300 that I failed to make, but you can’t get them all. Otherwise, it was a really good day.

The highlight of my day came about because I completed the conveyance of the piece of property that was a mystery just a day ago (see here if you really want to read about it). It was just a little piece of land in North Baton Rouge, but it was a true challenge to solve. The customers were fantastic and could not have been more helpful. We completed the transaction at a school in the Scotlandville area late this afternoon, so I will need to head to the clerk’s office in the morning to get it recorded. I still have a few concerns on how the tax assessor’s office is going to treat it, but I explained my thoughts to them and they seem to believe that they can deal with it. Another happy customer. Yay!

Another interesting job happened today with a construction company that I work for. They call me in to notarize contracts for them, and they are located in the Baton Rouge Industriplex area. They normally have 2-5 contracts for me to stamp, but today they had 9! It’s a good day.

I also worked on a loan modification today. This one was interesting because the borrowers were in the hospital, so I had to meet with them in their room. You really could not ask for friendlier people, and they were very understanding about the traffic delays that I ran into. I got lucky on this one because the lender (a very large national mortgage company) will not accept any mistakes. Normally, if a borrower makes an error when signing (happens all of the time), we strike it out, correct it, and initial. Not a big deal. Well this company does not accept any mistakes or corrections! So the borrowers completed the loan signing error free, thank you Jesus.

I also found the solution on another problem job I’m working on. Without boring you too much, this involves a car donation where the donee lost the act of donation. Long story short, I need to talk the original notary into helping me by sending a true certified copy of the original paperwork.

On the personal front, our son Quinn got called into work tonight at Domino’s Pizza. He’s excited because apparently the tips are flowing tonight. I also took our daughter to the shop to get the oil changed in her car, but we have a lot more to do. Our other son Alec has been playing games in his room all night, and Stacey (wife) is working tonight. We finished off the ham that we cooked last night, so I had to settle for some hot dogs for dinner.

Thank you for reading my notary blog! If you need some help, call me at 225-907-5280.

Baton Rouge Hail Storm 2/25/2014

As I was posting the last story in my notary blog, Stacey told me she heard that it’s hailing in Baton Rouge. It was raining pretty good at our house, but no hail. All of a sudden the skies opened up and it started raining hard. Stacey spotted the hail and I ran outside to video it. It’s so weird seeing ice fall down when it’s 66 degrees outside, but it sure did. Thankfully none of us were driving through this hail storm.

This is my first time to embed a video on this site, so I hope it works!

Who Owns What Property?

property cash sale contractToday (2/25/14) was a day of mystery solving. Hands down, the most interesting job of the day involved figuring out a real estate conveyance issue. To maintain confidentiality, I’m going to make up the names and the property description, but this is what happened:

Joe called me this morning. His mom, Wanda, wants to sell a piece of land to her sister Sara. Joe explains that his dad, Greg, passed away years ago. Greg had a succession where Wanda was put into possession of the property, only in her name. Joe told me it was Lot 9 in a neighborhood called Welder Estates, located here in Baton Rouge, LA.

This seemed to be a simple deal, so I explained my fees and headed to the Clerk of Court on Coursey to run a title search. I needed to verify ownership of the property, positively identify the property, get a valid legal description of it, and check for any tax sales, liens or judgments. Simple enough, right? Wrong!

I found out that Wanda and Greg inherited one whole lot (lot 9) and half of another lot (lot 8) years ago. After Greg passed, a succession was performed whereby both of these pieces of property were transferred to Joe and his brother Adam. Wanda still owned her 1/2 of the community portion. So instead of Wanda owning the property as Joe told me, she owned 1/2, Joe owned 1/4, and his brother Adam owned 1/4.

It also turned out that they sold half of lot 9 years ago, so they now own half of lot 8 and half of lot 9. Confusing the issue further, the tax assessor has one tax id for both of these purposes, and they have been lumped together in tax sales in the past.

Now I have to make sure that we are conveying the correct piece of property. Are we selling half of lot 8 or half of lot 9? This area is a very old part of Baton Rouge, and many of the original lots have been subdivided over and over throughout the years. Figuring out boundary lines and identifying particular lot pieces is difficult.

Thankfully, after figuring all of this out and explaining all of the details to the sellers, they were able to identify that they were selling just the half of lot 8. Originally he told me that mom was selling lot 9 that she owned by herself. The final result was that we are selling half of lot 8 that three people own. Is that confusing, or is it just me?

My next step is to meet with all of them tomorrow to sign the Cash Sale. After that I will run back to the Clerk’s office to have it recorded, and give a copy of the Certified Cash Sale to the buyer so that she can bring it to the tax assessor’s office.

On the personal front, my back is killing me today. It kept me up a lot last night, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to ease up. Maybe it has something to do with this rain that’s coming? I also just found out that Chase Bank messed up again and blocked my payment to Google Adwords. Chase sent me a new debit card recently (I was told that it was because of the Target hack), and it’s been a mess fixing all of my automatic payments.

Thank you for reading my notary blog! If you made it to the end, God bless you. Please give me a call at 225-907-5280 if I can ever help you.


After Hours Notary

after hours notary public baton rougeLooking for an after hours notary public in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Walker, Central, Port Allen, Brusly, Walker or other Louisiana cities nearby? You found him right here.

I am the only notary, as far as I know, that is really open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Better yet, I can travel to you, if you need me to. If you call me now at 225-907-5280, I can help you any time, anywhere in the greater Baton Rouge area.

Thank you for visiting!

World’s Biggest Live Oak Tree

worlds largest like oak treeToday (2/24/14) was a good day to be a Louisiana notary public. My two most important jobs today were for my favorite local lender. Both of them were mortgage refinance closings, one being in Mandeville, and the other in Gonzales.

The Gonzales closing was scheduled for late this evening, but luckily for me the docs came in early and the borrowers said the sooner the better. They were a really nice elderly couple. I can only hope that my attitude is as good as their when I’m their age. Their loan officer did a great job of explaining the numbers to them, so my job was a piece of cake.

The Mandeville closing was fairly early this morning. I’m always worried about traffic when I travel that far. Just one wreck along the way and I could end up hours late. Traffic was easy, and again the borrowers were great. They were just so happy to get away from a large national mortgage company. Their former lender has been making them jump through hoops to refinance their loan for about four months, and they never completed it. The new mortgage company had it closed in under two weeks. Yay for the local lender!

The best part about the Mandeville closing was that they lived a few houses away from the world’s biggest Live Oak tree. I love big old oak trees, and this one was absolutely amazing! It’s called the Seven Sisters Oak. It’s about 1,500 years old and is just huge! Mind blowing huge! The house that is beside it is also huge, but the tree completely dwarfs it. The trunk is 38 feet around, and there are seven clumps of branches that come off of it. I wish you could climb on it, but it sits on private party.

In other notary news, I fixed a billing issue that I had with Google, so my expensive ads should be running again. I also met with a new client on a confusing succession and cash sale of real property issue. It’s going to be a difficult one, but it’s also a good learning experience.

Thank you for reading my notary blog! If I can help you, just give me a call at 225-907-5280.

What Can a Louisiana Notary Do?

louisiana contractAs a traveling notary that covers the Baton Rouge area (and beyond), there are a lot of things that I can do as a Louisiana notary public. Unlike other states, a notary in LA has the ability to handle a wide variety of issues in the legal realm. A notary here can:

  • pass a mortgage. All mortgages in Louisiana require a notary to witness the borrower’s signature.
  • transfer real property by an act of sale or donation.
  • act of adoption. If you are adopting a child in Louisiana, you need a notary.
  • create and notarize a power of attorney (mandate).
  • create affidavits including an affidavit of small succession.
  • create life planning documents such as a last will & testament, trust and living will.
  • assist in business formations for corporations and limited liability corporations.
  • create matrimonial agreements.
  • create and notarize contracts.
  • in general, create and legal instrument that is in writing.

If you need a notary in the Baton Rouge area, please give me a call at 225-907-5280. Thank you for reading!

Notary Open On Sunday In Baton Rouge

baton rouge notary open sundayJust because it’s a Sunday, life doesn’t come to a stop. I am a notary that is open on Sunday in Baton Rouge. In other words, as far as I know, I am the only notary public in our area that is always open. Yes, I am 24/7.

My hours are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need a notary, I am always available.

While I am based in Baton Rouge, I also travel to customers throughout Louisiana. As a mobile notary (traveling notary), I can come straight to you in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Central, Walker, Port Allen, Brusly, Prairieville, Gonzales and beyond.

If you need a notary in the greater Baton Rouge area on a Sunday, just give me a call at 225-907-5280. Thank you!

Hospice Sunday

baton rouge hospice notaryToday (2/23/14) was a day for recovering. Our Mardi Gras escapades last night were a lot of fun, but I’m paying for it today. I managed to work on a few notary jobs today in Baton Rouge. The highlight was the trip to a local hospice.

My client is a patient in a Baton Rouge hospice. It’s a very nice place, as far as retirement homes go. I wish their rooms were bigger, but I understand that they have to keep it on the small side due to costs. So I was hired to visit the client and her family today. We completed and notarized to retirement forms. It was a quick and easy job, and the family couldn’t have been any nicer.

I also had an interesting marriage application notary job. Two women that live in Baton Rouge are going to Iowa for a wedding ceremony. They had to fill out the application here and mail it to Iowa where they will get married in a few weeks. Three of the papers needed to be notarized. Once again, they were very friendly people.

Tomorrow I have two big mortgage refinance closings to conduct. One is here in the Baton Rouge area, and the other one is in the New Orleans area. As much as I travel to New Orleans, it would make sense to live there.

Thank you for reading my little notary blog. If you would like to have a notary come directly to you, just give me a call at 225-907-5280. Thank you!