Unfortunately, we can’t simply email closing documents for you to sign in front of a witness and a Notary Public. There are strict ethical requirements on how everything must be executed, and that means a Georgia licensed attorney must be physically present when all the closing documents are signed. Closings are considered the practice of law here in Georgia.
So, what documents specifically require the physical presence of an attorney when signed? The Georgia Supreme Court lists a warranty deed, limited warranty deed, quitclaim deed, security deed, or deed to secure debt as all needing to be executed in front of a Georgia lawyer. If pen is being put to paper on any of these documents, then it has to happen with a Georgia lawyer. Not only that, but the Court has consistently held that “it is the unauthorized practice of law for someone other than a duly-licensed Georgia attorney to close a real estate transaction or to prepare or facilitate the execution of such deed(s) for the benefit of a seller, borrower, or lender.” That means if a notary is getting a deed signed, they’re engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. That’s bad.
That said, there are two potential options if you’re not able to come to closing.
- Name an attorney-in-fact! If and whenever possible, we’d love to conduct your closing with someone here in our office acting as your attorney-in-fact. Let us do the work for you and you can stay home! Best of all, we never charge anyone for the service.
- Close virtually! In limited circumstances, we may be able to handle your closing over Zoom and you can sign your closing documents from the comfort of your own living room!
While we can’t just email documents for you to sign with a notary, we will happily work with you to find a way for your closing to happen as conveniently as possible!