As you probably know (and if you don’t, you’ll know it by the time you finish reading this sentence), in order for the courts to recognize certain documents like wills, powers of attorney, and health care directives as official, they need to be notarized.

There’s also a chance you’ve never had to get anything notarized and might be a bit nervous about it, or don’t know what to do. Here at Florida Notary Professionals, we thought we’d help you out with some of the dos and don’ts when it comes to getting ready for a notary public:

DON’T be nervous. We don’t bite. We’re just normal people who travel around making sure everyone’s documents are expertly notarized so they don’t get rejected by the courts. The only superpower we have is the ability to stamp a document faster than a speeding train of thought.

DO make extra copies of all signature and notary pages to bring to the appointment, just in case someone (you, not us. We’re perfect) makes a mistake. And if possible, use a laser printer, because inkjet printers have a tendency to smudge. We can also print out the documents at our office too!

DON’T expect us to be attorneys. We’re not. We don’t look that good on billboards. Your attorney or legal representative should draft the documents for you. All we’re here to do is to notarize your signature. We can’t answer any legal questions at all.

DO bring witnesses. Most powers of attorney and healthcare directives require two witnesses, so bring them with you. They need to be adult humans. No cats. No aliens. No children. If you need witnesses, we can also provide those as well.

DON’T wait until it’s too late. The person signing must be aware of what they are signing and willingly sign it. If they’re not capable of being aware, we can’t notarize the document, and you may have lost your chance.

DO bring your current government-issued ID, and be mentally sound! Even if you don’t have ID, two credible witnesses can replace it, but if we doubt the signer’s mental soundness, we won’t notarize the document. Mental soundness can be a subjective judgment call on our part, but we’ll do our best to be fair and reasonable, even if you show up wearing a Patriots hat.

DON’T worry if you can’t come to us! We are mobile, meaning that we have legs and are physically capable of ambulating. Also, it means that we can travel to a nursing home, hospital, or to you at work or home (or the home of the person signing).

DO relax! This is an easy process, and we’ll walk you through the steps as we review the document, witness your signature, affix our seal, and make sure you have everything you need to have your will, health care directive, or power of attorney official and ready to go!