Bank Officer Providing Customer With Self-Proving Will Form Prior to Notarizing Will Customer Presents.

It does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law for a non-lawyer bank trust officer, when requested by a customer to notarize a will which the bank officer recognizes is not properly drawn, to inform the customer that the bank’s attorney requires bank employees to witness a will only on a self-proving form prepared by the attorney; to provide the customer with such a self-proving will form; and to subsequently witness and notarize the completed document. Bank personnel would not discuss the matter further; would not answer questions as to the nature of, or need for, the form; and would not advise customers as to the completion or use of the form.

The committee cautioned that differences in the style of the self-proving form document provided to the customer and the style of the face of the [original] document may result in questions as to the validity of the total document.

[UPL Ops. 56, 59, 73, and 116.]

Committee Opinion
October 8, l99l


Updated: Aug 28, 2006