By Volunteer Resources
At the end of life, patients and their loved ones often face a myriad of healthcare, financial and other decisions, many of which need to be processed through notarized documentation. One of the many volunteer services offered through San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine, for its hospice patients and families, is the the service of notary volunteers as part of our specialty care volunteer team.
A notary public is a public official appointed by the state government. Notaries serve as an impartial witness, sign official documents and help protect consumers against fraud. Their three main duties include:
- Verifying the identity of the person or people signing the document utilizing a driver’s license or other government identification.
- Checking to see if the person is willing and able to sign the document. Notaries need to be able to communicate directly with the patient and make sure the person isn’t signing under duress or due to intimidation.
- Ensure the signer understands the basics of the document they are signing.
The most common notarized documents in hospice care include:
Notary volunteers assist hospice patients and families with notary services, usually in the patient’s home or residence. One San Diego Hospice volunteer shares her experience:
“Volunteering as a notary public for San Diego Hospice is very rewarding experience. I have the ability to put the patients’ minds at ease in the final chapters of their lives,” said Carrie Austin. “There is no better feeling than looking into their eyes and seeing the relief that their business matters and wishes are in order, and that their families will be taken care of.”
San Diego Hospice is always looking for licensed notaries to join our team! Whether volunteers have a lot of time to share, or just a little, becoming a notary volunteer is a wonderful way to help a patient and their family at the end of life. We have needs for notary services throughout San Diego County. Our notary volunteers inform us on their availability and their preferred area of service, and our volunteer team notifies them as opportunities arise. Although visits with the patient and families you serve will be brief, the impact of notary volunteers is lasting!
If you are a licensed notary, or know someone who is and would like to give back to the community, please contact Volunteer Resources at 619-278-6451, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in being licensed as a notary, visit The CA Secretary of State’s webpage on Notary Publics for more information.