The main areas where French notaire intervene

The Order dated 2 November 1945 defines the Notaire's mission as follows :
"Notaires are public officers appointed for administering the instruments or contracts to which the parties must or wish to grant the authenticity associated with public authority instruments, and for guaranteeing the date, filing them and issuing engrossed or duplicated copies".

In addition to this legal mission of authenticating and archiving documents, the notaires also operate in many other areas: they are "general practitioners" in law who have an overall view of legal problems. Since they operate in every area of law and taxation, they are the natural choice when clients need advice.

  • Notaire and family

    • This is the area in which the French notary traditionally operate: marriage contractsgifts between spouses, inter-vivos distribution, wills and inheritance.
      This is why the State imposes certain obligations on Notaires and consumer expectation is high.

    • The State expects French notaire to :
      - register wills.
      - authenticate certain important documents.
      - archive documents for 100 years.

    • Legal consumers expect :
      - Authentication to be effective : probative valueenforceability and legal date.
      - Notaires to give unbiased advice on family and personal issues.

    • More informations in Family item.

  • Notaire and property

    • This is a major area of the French notaire's work : negotiating property sales, signature of preliminary contracts, signature of sale agreements.

    • The State expects French notaire to :
      - be meticulous when completing property documents.
      - collect taxes including capital gains tax on property sales.
      - contribute to the fight against money-laundering.

    • Legal consumers expect :
      - Certainty about the ownership of property to be established through searches for the seller's title to all property.
      - French notaire to provide a "one-stop" service: Notaires are indeed virtually the sole contacts in the property sector.
      - Authentication to be effective: probative value, enforceability and legal date.
      - Legal security

    • More informations in Housing item.

  • Notaire and Business

    • This is a lesser known field of the French notaire's activity but he is indeed skilled and competent. His overall knowledge of a Chief Executive's assets enables him to offer the most appropriate legal and tax solutions.

    • The State expects French notaire to :
      - protect the principle that Chief Executives' real property cannot be seized.
      - check that European Companies comply with legal requirements.

    • Legal consumers expect :
      - Authentication to be effective: probative value, enforceability and legal date.
      - Protection of the principle that their real property cannot be seized.

    • More informations in Business item.

  • Notaire, rural law and environment

    • Since the French notaires are settled all over France, they are the chief representatives of the law in rural communities and can therefore suggest tools for developing agricultural establishments :
      - creating an agricultural business that allows to assess the establishment and facilitate its transmission.
      - drawing up an authenticated "bail cessible" or transferable lease . Under certain conditions the law allows to enter into a lease that may be assigned to any other person even if he/she is not related to the lessor.
      - drawing up an authenticated "transmission credit plan". Under certain conditions the law allows to sell agricultural establishments under beneficial tax conditions.

    • More informations in page "Agricultural companies".

  • Notaire and local authorities

    • The French notaire provide two types of services (often together) to the local authorities :

    • On the one hand legal advice on town planning law, development of territory, , environmental law, local authority law, etc...
      For example, setting out the scope of the public property rule or ensuring legal security in transactions of transfer of property between authorities.

    • On the other hand, drawing up deeds with the related liability. Therefore the fee for drawing up a legal deed includes advice, liability cover and legal analysis… all at a regulated price. And as a follow-up to the advice given, a notarised deed also gives mayors valuable legal security.

    • More informations in Local community item.

Frequently asked questions