Certain types of legal documents can be drafted by a notary public in the State of Louisiana. Louisiana notaries public prepare and draft legal documents of a noncontentious nature (i.e. not for court cases) such as wills, trusts, marriage contracts, articles of incorporation, estate inventories, mortgages, real estate sales contracts, powers of attorney, etc. Aside from drafting, they are also authorized to make inventories, property descriptions, take company minutes, and appraise and convey real estate. Louisiana, along with Puerto Rico, have this exception because prior to inclusion in the United States, both were (and continue to be) under the civil law legal system. Under civil law, notaries are lawyers, which is why in Louisiana notaries are appointed for life and used to be licensed before the advent of practice of law statutes in the 1930s. Louisiana notaries public are not required to be attorneys or otherwise trained in law; however, they do have to pass an extensive exam on notarial law (i.e., the areas of law a notary can draft for - property law, estate law, family law, etc.), they must sign and witness the signing of the documents they draft (notarial acts), and register and file those documents with the local court.
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