About Acknowledgments

Sample Definition: "The declaration before a duly qualified public officer (as a notary public) by a  person who has executed an instrument that the execution was the person's free act and deed."


Acknowledgments are required in many jurisdictions in order for a legal document to be recorded in the land records. Some litigation documents must also be acknowledged. Other type forms, such as affidavits, must also contain an acknowledgment.

Many legal documents do not have to be acknowledged. If there is doubt, the best course of action is to add an acknowledgment and have a notary public sign the document.  If it is to be recorded add an acknowledgment.


An attempt has been made to verify that the acknowledgment forms provided on U.S. Legal Forms are accurate and acceptable in the appropriate states.  However, all forms are provided subject to the company Disclaimer and License agreement and USLF assumes no liability for errors or omissions.  If there is any question as to the appropriate form of acknowledgment to use it is advisable to contact a notary from your state, or a county clerk (where the document will be recorded) to verify or obtain the appropriate form of acknowledgment to be used.


The form of acknowledgment used (and the statutorily prescribed forms vary from state to state) should be the form prescribed by the state in which the instrument will be recorded regardless of the location, residence, or domicile of the signing party.  As an example, if an Oklahoma resident is conveying or assigning an interest in property in the state of Texas, and the instrument will be recorded in a Texas county, a Texas form of acknowledgment should be used.  Similarly, if a California resident who has traveled to Texas to sign instruments affecting property in Illinois, and the instrument will be recorded in an Illinois county, an Illinois form of acknowledgment should be used. 

One of the most common mistakes by attorneys and others when preparing documents to be recorded in another state is the use of an improper acknowledgment. An improperly acknowledged instrument may be recorded by a clerk, but by law or statute, notwithstanding the fact it is included in a volume of recorded instruments in a courthouse, it may be deemed void or voidable, having no effect, or no effect on parties without notice!


Many of the forms available on U.S. Legal Forms have acknowledgments but it is your responsibility to assure that the acknowledgment is valid in your state.

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