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Notaries in Italy: What you need to know!

Who are notaries?

In Italy, notaries are public officials and among the best attorneys in the country. In fact, Italian notaries public must pass a very difficult exam that requires a very thorough knowledge of Italian law.

What areas of law do they work in and what do they do?

Notaries work in real estate law, corporate law, tax law, and estates and trusts. Their main task is to guarantee and certify that transactions are legal and that all laws are followed.

What do they do?

Notaries have a very specific role: they do not represent the seller or the buyer but the government. Therefore, they cannot assist you in the negotiation phase, but can only draft the completion deed.

What is the difference between the notary public in countries like the United States and England and in Italy?

In countries such as the United States, England, Canada, Australia and Ireland, notaries public have very limited function. They basically just authenticate signatures, and for this reason, almost anyone can become a notary. The situation is very different in Italy, where notaries are experts in the law because they must ensure that certain laws, considered by the state of fundamental importance, are followed, in addition to authenticating signatures. They are also involved in collecting the taxes due on the notarial deed for a real estate purchase. Given this role, all notaries must pass a very difficult exam. However, they cannot represent either party in the purchase transaction because they are public officials and only represent the government.

Can I buy a house in Italy without a notary?

No, you cannot. While anyone can draft the purchase proposal and the preliminary contract, the purchase deed must be drafted by and signed in front of a notary to ensure that the transaction is legal and that all laws are followed. Why are notaries so careful that the law is carefully followed? They will be personally liable if something goes wrong!

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