Authentic deed

06.25.2014
  • What is an authentic deed ?

    • Authentic deeds are documents drawn up and executed with due formality by a public officer entitled to do so in the place where it is drawn up.

    • They differ from private documents which are only signed by the parties and do not require the presence of the drafter and which may be executed anywhere, even abroad.

  • Specific features of authentic deed

    • At the time the deed is signed.

    • The signatories to the deed are present : The French notaire can therefore check the identity, legal capacity and any proxies held by the parties.

    • The French notaire is present : He is in a position to throw light on the scope of the parties' undertakings, the consequences of the deed, and provide all useful information the parties require. The French notaire ensures that the contract is fair and that the parties are giving their real, informed, legally valid consent.

    • The French notaire signs the deed : In his capacity as a public officer, he grants by his signature the authenticity to the deed that he administers and gives his personal guarantee on the deed's content and date.
  • Effectiveness of authentic deeds

    • This is intrinsic to the deed :

    • Legal date : Authentic instruments include a guaranteed date, thereby simplifying proof.

    • Probative value  : Authentic deeds guarantee the accuracy of their content, namely facts observed and checked by a French notaire.
      Evidence in rebuttal may only be brought using a complex procedure that is equivalent to challenging a legal ruling on the grounds of the judge being partial.

    • Enforceability  : When debtors fail to perform their financial obligations, an authentic deed avoids the necessity for the creditor to obtain a court ruling for taking an action for non-payment; whereas if the debt is only recorded in a private document, a court ruling is strictly required. Just like court rulings, authentic deeds are automatically enforceable.

  • A legal deed in tune with the needs of modern society

    • Its formal nature protects the individual freedom,

    • Its effectiveness ensures the protection of economic interests,

    • Its transparency means the State authorities are kept informed.

Namely

The security it provides makes it a force for legal freedom as it protects the weak against the strong and consumers against professionals.

It constitutes a type of proof that makes it particularly effective for electronic contracts, while making the creation of new, ever-mounting protective legal regulations (laws, decrees, etc.) unnecessary.

See also
29.11.2016
The letter of the notaries of France in the world / November 2016
25.01.2017
French property market report / N°34