Not all countries have a notary to verify documents as they do in Spain. Here the Spanish notary is a very much respected individual whose office carries a clearly recognised ‘Notary’ sign and who trains for several additional years to qualify for the title. Most people associate the notary with Spanish power of attorney but their activities go much further than that.
What is a Notary in Spain?
The notary is a professional within the Spanish law system and his/ her main function is to certify Spanish documents ensuring that private agreements fulfil certain legal criteria. The Spanish notary is involved in legalising agreements and contracts and uses a stamp and signature to endorse them.
The main difference between a Lawyer and a Notary in Spain is that the Lawyer deals with private documents such as contracts and might represent a client, for example in a law-suit. A notary, on the other hand, brings a document into the public domain.
The notary has a strict code to abide by and the Law for Notaries defines his function and the extent of his or her authority. The notary is qualified to a very high level and must pass some very strict exams to achieve this status. They study for four years to achieve the ‘Grado de Derecho’ which is the general law qualification that you need in Spain. They then study for a further period of time of between four to eight years in order to pass the public examination for Notaries and obtain the authorisation to take placement as a Notary.
The role of a Spanish notary
The role of the notary includes:
- Advising parties of the formalities and procedures involved
- Drafting the required documents
- Certifying publicly the facts, acts and agreements that take place in front of him/ her
In the majority of cases individuals can choose their notary, although the notary can only act within his/her own district. The number of Notary offices within each town depends upon the population and the actual placing of the office itself.
Why do you need a notary?
Notaries are an important regulator who can guarantee that the documentation in Spain is correct and would be considered authentic and proven in court. Any document that needs to be entered in a registry, such as the land registry has to be signed in front of the Notary.
Documents that can be signed before a notary include:
- Marital status documents
- Last wills and testaments
- Marriage settlements
- General contracts and agreements
- Inheritance declarations and requests from heirs
- The foundation, modification and separation of companies and partnerships
- Loans, mortgages and other debts
- Acquittals and the discharge of obligations
- Any kind of power of attorney
- Declaration of heirs where there is no will
- Any kind of declaration or statement
The notary isn’t always stuck in the office. They will sometimes be called out to complete a particular service such as being called to hospital to enable a seriously ill person to make a will. They are often present at some very important times in people’s lives. For example, when there is a transfer of property or a company is being formed and needs a constitution.
It might not be a role that we are familiar with in other European countries but the notary carries a great deal of respect in Spain.
What notary fees must I pay when buying property in Spain?
If you are buying a property in Spain then you will have to pay notary fees. The notary fees when you are buying property in Spain are one of the legal costs that you must pay. There are other such as land registry fees and solicitor’s fees, for which you should obtain a quote before you begin the purchasing process.
The amount the notary charges is prescribed by law and depends on numerous factors such as value of the property, number of pages of Title Deed as well as attachments incorporated in the deed, and generally could be between 600 € and 900 €. The Title Deed is inscribed at the Spanish Land Registry and the fee for this is usually around € 400, depending the exact amount on numerous factors.
Many people have found that taking out a power of attorney has been a useful action to take when buying their property in Spain. It can be difficult to combine ensuring that you are in the country as a non-resident with the date when all the documents are ready to sign. Taking out a power of attorney removes any uncertainty around this and can save some flight costs too.
Ábaco clients are taken to the notary office by their contact person at Ábaco. However, people acting independently can locate a notary by the notary emblem that they must display.
The notary fees when buying property in Spain through Ábaco are clearly indicated on the final fee sheet. This ensures transparency and clients can be clear exactly how the final bill has been reached.
If you have any queries regarding the Spanish notary or property purchase and management in Spain, you can fill out this form and we will contact you as soon as possible, with no obligation.