Who is a notary and which are a notary’s duties and functions in Spain.
In Spain, notaries (notario) are public officials that play a neutral role in drafting and witnessing
many different types of contracts. In the same time, it is a legal professional who holds a competitive basis. This double quality
guarantees their independence. The Spanish notary is also a guarantee of legitimacy and security for both individuals and the state,
being an impartial professional with high preparations which strictly verifies the legality of the deeds.
There are about 3,000 notaries in Spain, which are spread geographically throughout the Spanish territory, even in very small towns,
in order to guarantee the service, so any Spanish citizen can easily find a trusted notary near his home.
Spanish individuals go to a notary when planning to buy or sell real estate, rent, make a will, set up a company, for matrimonial contracts
or any matter related to private civil law or commercial matters, family life or succession upon death. The Spanish notary studies the case
free of charge and will advise on the most convenient way to treat it, telling the advantages and disadvantages of each option and its final
cost, including the taxes.
When buying real estate, after making sure the transaction is proper and agreed, they will write up the property deeds and check that everyone
understands them, witnessing the signatures of the buyer and seller. The notary will further ascertain that all relevant taxes are paid. Also,
the notary makes sure that the contracts comply with Spanish regulations. At the closing, the notary enters the sale on the local property registers
(Registrio de las Propriedad) to protect against third party claims.
As all the civil law notaries, in Spain, the notary has a more elevated role than in the UK or USA; they do much more than just verify signatures.
To gain the title of notary requires years of additional studies.
The main functions of the Spanish notary are:
Guarantees security and legality:
Their goal is that the contract, business or statement fully respects the law and is unassailable. Furthermore, the notary deed is credible in the
courts of justice: nobody doubts its veracity.
The notary that signs a document provides reassurance that the business or contract is final, immovable and effective.
The territorial distribution of the notaries in Spain makes sure one always has a notary close by which he can choose freely.
A highly qualified professional:
Notaries are required to make rich, deep studies and they constantly update their professional knowledge at national and international level.
Notaries are conditioned only by law.
Notaries try to anticipate and prevent new social and technological requirements and adapt their functions permanently to any innovation.
The cost of notarial intervention is much lower than the social and economic costs avoided. Only a small part of what the citizen pays at the
notary bill belongs to the notary.