June 21st, 2005

Lady Gaga by Jordana

On being a Notary Public

I work in a huge medical center that contains thirteen hospitals, two med schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It's a big place, really. Yet working in a research center, I don't meet many patients. I meet loads of doctors and nurses, and the occasional study subject, but not patients.

I did a favor for my co-worker friend Angeles (pronounced ahn-jel-LEES). She had a friend named Alicia with a terminally ill significant other in St. Luke's Hospital who needed the services of a Notary Public. I underestimated how much time it would take. I figured a quick pop over across the street and right back. I should have realized it would be more involved. I ended up being gone well over an hour.

I notarized two forms granting power of attorney (Texas and Michigan) to the daughter of the ill man. And then I notarized the last will and testament. Oh, I also notarized his form changing his beneficiaries. The form didn't say it needed notarizing, but since he's changing his beneficiaries on what is probably his deathbed, we figured it would be smart to do so. It is close to the end for this gentleman. Alicia is in terrible shape. Angeles, Alicia and I walked back to our building together. Alicia needed to talk and did. She held my hand and I ended up hugging her twice on the walk back before parting.

I have notarized power of attorney forms before, but never a will. Much less a will for a man on his deathbed. It was an unusual experience. Being a Notary Public, you sometimes meet people at strange junctures in their lives.
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