The French notaire is a sworn public official and a freelance professional at the same time.
He is subject to strict rules and rigorous controls and is both legally and financially liable for the deed he drafts.

Notaires are well know in France for property issues. Notaires are also family advisors they can advise you on the inheritance tax implications and deal with all your personal issues like estate planning, succession law etc.

As English solicitors, French notaires do probate, estate planning but the major difference is that they don’t plead before the Courts.

Notaires are advisors that families may consult at any time of their lives for such things as – insolvency, wills, gifts between families, pre-nuptial agreements, civil unions.

The notaire is both a public officer and an independent professional. As a public officer he acts on behalf of the State appointed by the Ministry of Justice he guarantees the reliability and authenticity of the deeds he produces.

Property transfer deeds are the exclusive prerogative of the notaire and can only be signed at a notarial office. When buying a property the amounts paid to the notaire are commonly and inaccurately referred to as “notaire’s fees” but in reality they comprise :

  • the “ taxes” that go to the State and the local authorities ; this is the sum that the notaire must receive and pay on behalf of his client
  • the “payments” these are the sums paid by the notaire on behalf of his client and used to remunerate service providers, for example the cost of various documents
  • the notaire’s actual payment

While the notaire acts as a public authority he performs his duties as an independent professional, providing a public service without any cost to the State as he assumes full responsibility for his office. The notaire is paid by his clients according to a price schedule set by the State for the services he provides.