Why does someone need a notary

The process of the notarization procedure

Land purchase agreements and numerous other legal transactions require notarial certification. Here we explain the notarization process to you.

Notaries differentiate between notarizations and notarizations. The most noticeable difference for you as a participant is that the entire text of the certificate is read out to you in the event of a notarization. This is not necessary in the case of a mere signature authentication; here the notary only confirms who has signed a document. The law determines whether a certification is required or a signature certification is sufficient.


1st step: placing the order

The notarization process begins as soon as someone instructs the notary to perform the notarization. That sounds banal at first, but it is important insofar as aborting the authentication process (for example, by withdrawing the order) is already associated with costs from this point in time. As long as the notary has not yet created a draft, aborting the notarization process costs 20 euros plus expenses and VAT.

Let the notary know what should be notarized. You don't have to provide the legal details. Usually it is sufficient if you tell the notary in your words what you want to regulate or achieve. The legal form is then a matter for the notary.

If a participant does not have a good command of the German language that he can follow the certification in German (i.e. understand the text of the certificate in German and request changes in German), please inform us at this point in time. An interpreter must then be called in for the certification. The certificate may also have to be translated in writing. Both require additional time.


2nd step: drafting

The notary will prepare a draft based on the information he has received from you. Please note that the notary can only consider information in his draft that you or someone else involved has given him. If you withhold information (consciously or unconsciously) from the notary, the draft will not fully do justice to your situation.


3rd step: Submission of draft

Usually, the notary then sends you the draft so that you can prepare for the notarization negotiation, fill in any gaps and, if possible, eliminate any existing inaccuracies in the content. Once the draft has been sent by the notary, the fee for terminating the notarization process is just as high as for the notarization process in full.

Some clients carefully compare the draft they received from the notary with other documents that they or other persons have previously drawn up with a notary on supposedly similar matters. That does not make sense. As a layperson, you normally cannot judge to what extent the facts differ in a legally relevant manner, how the laws or case law have changed since then and which form is legally more recommendable. The notary is a highly qualified lawyer who is trained to legally implement your regulatory needs in the best possible way. If, as a non-lawyer, you try to formulate the deed yourself or to replace the notary's wording with your own or copied somewhere, experience has shown that the deed will not improve.

If you have any requests for changes or additions, please inform the notary's office in good time before the notarization date. The notary then has enough time to check and insert the changes and additions. And he can send the amended or supplemented draft to all those involved again for checking before the notarization. It is ungrateful for the notary as well as for the other persons involved in the deed if requests for changes or additions are only expressed during the notarization date. This can even lead to the notarization date having to be postponed.


4th step: Notarization negotiation

When the text of the deed has been agreed between the parties involved and the notary, an appointment can be made for the notarization. It is really advisable to only agree on the notarization date when the entire content of the document has been determined. Otherwise there is only unnecessary time pressure, which can lead to ill-considered decisions and mistakes.

The notarization date begins with the establishment of the personal details. So please bring valid identification documents (identity card or passport) with you.

The notary's office will inform you before the notarization date whether you need to bring any further documents with you. If we need any official documents from you (e.g. birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, inheritance certificates, opened wills and opening protocols, notarial documents), we usually need the original or a copy, sometimes a certified copy is sufficient. A simple (i.e. uncertified) copy is almost never enough.

It is best to bring the draft that you received from the notary with you. Then you can read along during the certification process and, if necessary, take notes.

The notary will read the entire text of the deed to you and present you with any maps, drawings and illustrations it may contain for you to review. This is required by law. Reading the certificate aloud may seem a bit old-fashioned, but it ensures that everyone involved has heard the full text of the certificate at least once. In addition, the notary can check the content of the deed better while reading it than if he just read the deed in silence. You might be surprised how many inconsistencies you only become aware of when you read the certificate.

In order for the document to be read aloud to achieve the intended purpose, it must be so quiet during the certification that you can hear and understand the notary. So leave small children and dogs at home. For both of them, a notarization appointment at the notary is downright boring, and they rarely stay calm the whole time.

During the notarization, the notary will explain the content of the deed to you. He mainly goes into those points that seem most relevant to him. But that shouldn't prevent you from asking questions on other points as well. In the vast majority of cases, the questions that arise during the notarization can be quickly clarified during the notarization appointment. Very rarely does it happen that a participant has so many questions that the time allotted for the certification date is nowhere near enough. Then we break off the notarization appointment and arrange a new appointment so that the follow-up appointments of other clients are not unnecessarily delayed.

If, after reading the certificate and clarifying your questions, you agree with the content of the certificate, sign it. Then the notary also signs. This ends the certification.


5th step: roll of documents

After the notarization, the notary enters the deed in his deed. This gives the certificate an individual number, which is made up of a serial number and a year number. Each notarial deed can be clearly identified using this document roll number and the name of the notary.


Step 6: Copies and copies

Now the certificate will be issued. For this purpose, the notary's employees create a fair copy in which they type any handwritten changes made by the notary during the authentication. In this fair copy, the signatures are replaced by “signed” (that means “drawn”), followed by the name of the respective person. Instead of the notary's seal, the fair copy reads “L.S.”. Copies are then made of this fair copy, which are referred to as copies, certified copies or simple copies. In the case of copies and certified copies, the notary confirms that they match the original (i.e. the signed original of the document that remains with the notary).

Each participant receives the intended copies or copies. At the same time, you will normally also receive our invoice for the authentication procedure.


7th step: Execution of the deed

Many documents still require certain enforcement activities on the part of the notary. This means that the notary still has to request documents (e.g. permits, waiver of the right of first refusal, deletion permits) in order to bring about the desired success.


8th step: Supervising activities

Often the notary is also entrusted with certain supervisory or fiduciary activities. For example, it should notify the buyer when the conditions for the due date of the purchase price payment are met and only transfer ownership of a property to the buyer after the purchase price has been paid.


9th step: application

If applications have to be submitted to the land registry or the commercial register on the basis of a deed, the notary will usually do this for you. To do this, give him a power of attorney in the certificate.


10th step: conclusion

When the deed has been finally processed and the desired success has occurred, the notary will inform you once again.