The main areas where notaries intervene

The Order dated 2 November 1945 defines the notaries mission as follows :"Notaries 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, notaries 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.

  • Notaries and families

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

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

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

    • More informations in Family item.

  • Notaries and housing

    • This is a major area of notaries work : negotiating property sales, signature of preliminary contracts, signature of sale agreements.

    • The State expects notaries 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.
      - Notaries to provide a "one-stop" service: Notaries 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.

  • Notaries and companies

    • This is a lesser known field of the notaries 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 notaries 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 Companies item.

  • Notaries, rural law and environment

    • Since the notaries 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".

  • Notaries and local authorities

    • Notaries 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