Please, can any one describe a possible scenario that could occur if you fail to confirm the identity of a person whose signature you witness or notarize.  

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a trustee with power of attorney and health care for a distant 84-year-old relative, having my identity confirmed before the notary would sign the papers provides a powerful example of the importance of identity confirmation.  A stranger was attempting to steal money from this relative to the tune of $35,000.00, and she could have become the trustee or gained power of attorney if the notary had not done his job and asked me for proof of my identity, relationship etc.  If the notary had simply believed the stranger and stamped papers confirming her signature and identity as being mine, she could have stolen my relative's considerable estate without anyone knowing that anything was wrong.  The powers a notary has come with responsibilities to do the job well and prevent such a situation from happening through identity verification.