How do you, as the signer, know if your document requires one witness or two witnesses?

October 12, 2022

Many documents have a space for two witnesses and a notary, but that doesn’t mean that you always need three (3) individuals to act as witnesses and notary. In some instances, the notary may act as a one of the witnesses AND the notary.

Our first suggestion is always to consult with the preparer of the document, for instance an attorney or other professional who has drafted the document for signature.

The best example of a document that requests the signature of two (2) witnesses but actually only requires one witness is a Florida Warranty Deed.  A standard deed or any real property prepared for Florida has a space for two (2) witnesses and a notary.  However, the notary may act as a witness and the notary. 

The greatest model of a document which requires two (2) witnesses AND a notary is a Last Will and Testament for a Florida resident.  A Last Will and Testament has a space for two (2) witnesses and a notary.  In accordance with Florida Law, the notary MAY NOT act as a witness.  One way for a signer to be able to detect this on their own is by looking at the language in the notary block.  In a Last Will and Testament, the notary block has the notary signing that he/she/they have taken the oath of the signer and the witnesses.  The notary CANNOT take an oath of themselves and are therefore not eligible to act as a witness.  

Keep in mind that not all documents are this easy to navigate, therefore it is important to consult with the recipient of the signed document as to what is expected.

Written by: Genna Rubolino, CP, FRP, General Manager

Florida Notary Public and Florida Online Notary

Certified Paralegal, Florida Registered Paralegal

Please note that I, as the author of this article, am not a licensed attorney and as such cannot offer legal advice. No content of this article/blog post is intended as, nor should it be construed as legal advice.