What is an Acknowledgement?

"An acknowledgement enables certain documents to be publicly recorded or actually proves a document's execution." Source: Georgia Notary Handbook, American Society of Notaries

Acknowledgements are often used with deeds, other real property documents, last will and testaments. Unlike with oaths and affirmations that compel truthfulness of the contents, the signer of a document on which a signature is being acknowledged is

  • Confirming that she or he signed the document

  • that it was executed willingly without coercion, and

  • that they understand of and purpose of the document.

The oaths and affirmations required are administered differently depending on the document, with one's last will and testament requiring the presence of two credible witnesses. In all cases, the signer must respond to two questions in the affirmative.

At the start and before signing, I will ask...

"Do you solemnly swear under the penalties of perjury that the information contained in this document is the truth?"

"So help you God" is added to those who prefer an oath. After the signatures are added, I will ask,

"Do you acknowledge and declare that this is your signature, that you understand this document and that you willingly signed this document for the purposes stated herein?"