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The role of the notaire.

Posted by Janice K - Created: 13 years ago
0 0

I have a few questions....which I do not seem to be getting any response from my notaire..in connection with a property purchase.

1. Where can I make a will ? Is it the job of the notaire ?...if not , where do I go to make one? Roughly how much does it cost ?

2. There is a burglar alarm in the property that I am about to purchase. In France , does the notaire gather the relevant info in order for me to be able to use it  ? If not, who can help me with this matter ?

Janice K

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1 reply

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Posted by No.6 - 13 years ago

1. Yes, a notaire can draw up the necessary legal clauses to alter/vary where applicable, what is already stipulated by default in French inheritance law.  I say it like that because in France, unlike in some other countries, you can't just choose to distribute your heritage as you please simply by dictating your whim to your family solicitor, e.g. "I leave half of my estate to Felix my darling pussycat, one quarter to my faithful butler, etc..."  - there are all sorts of complicated blood-tie rules that need to be obeyed! (and cats don't get a look-in, btw). Plus, inhertance law is evolving - have a look here for a taste (in French) of how the rules are expressed: 


You'll need to discuss with your notaire about your inheritance options that may or may not apply in your case and have him/her write the  specifics that you agree together (if any are necessary) into the final acte de vente (property sale contract).  The extra charge for this is not that great - as I recall, something like 300 to 500 Francs at the time (note that in this instance the notaire is acting solely on your behalf).

2. No, notaires are only interested in the formal/legal stuff. They are responsible for ensuring that the transfer of property ownership is duly and properly completed in accordance with the law and that new ownership is correctly & officially established - nothing else, I believe.  Interestingly, (as opposed to solicitors in the UK for example), notaires are in fact acting for the State in conveyancing matters, rather than strictly on behalf of either the buyer or seller - which is why two notaires are not necessary to achieve such transactions.

You should hassle your estate agent to obtain things like burglar alarm instructions/codes etc. - if they are professional about it (they get paid enough to do this!) they should give these to you on the day of purchase, along with keys, but you really should ensure all this is organised and agreed up-front.  If need be, the estate agent can also organise a separate/additional meeting between buyer & vendor beforehand so as to clear up these sort of practical details & questions.  If there is no estate agent involved, however, I'm afraid you're going to have to pluck up the courage to communicate with your vendor directly!

Hope this helps.