Luis Prados Ramos




Although it may be surprising, questions like, can you consult the notary? Can I ask you a question? or other similar ones have a lot of repetition in a notary. Sometimes they are the product of the innocence of the people, and in many others of their own ignorance of the notarial function.

Of course you can ask the Notary!!. The advisory work is implicit in the notarial function, to the point that a notary who does not advise is not really a notary. Another thing is the breadth and content of the advice, which can really be very different, and depends enormously on the personality of each notary.

And it is also true that corporate fights between legal professionals seek to deny the legitimacy of the Notary for advice, to justify their own position.

The profile of the people who go to the notary's office with queries is very varied. I will cite a few examples.

The legal professional

We have the legal professional, who can seek the specialization of the notary in certain areas or his broader vision of them, since in a notary we are very used to seeing matters from a very global perspective, which includes civil, commercial, tax aspects , registry or administrative.

I cannot resist citing two examples of the advice that a notary provides to other legal professionals.

The first of these occurred at the NOTARTIC conference, which we held a couple of years ago in Seville, where a lawyer who was a speaker at the conference, in a separate talk, told us that Notaries differ from other State legal officials, such as State Lawyers or Registrars, in that having an equivalent level of preparation, we have a practical vision of the law that is very difficult to find in other legal operators.

The second example, I cite with some regret, and it is relatively recent. It is a lawyer, who came to order the lifting of a notarial deed of a Board of partners.

He had many doubts, to a certain extent logical, about how the Meeting should be presented, and for this reason, before even calling it, he went through the Notary, even consulting how to make the agenda.

The professional chat was giving way to more daily aspects of our chores, and he confessed to me that he had come "rebound from another notary's office" where, when he asked the questions he was asking me, and that, within my possibilities, the officer who He answered and told him that he was not a lawyer, that he had no obligation to answer him and that if he needed advice, he should look for it elsewhere.

I don't know if your boss has become aware of the matter, but for my part I just want to thank that officer for his actions, which has allowed me to meet really charming and very respectful people, and also good clients.

Consulting in the firm

It causes a certain tenderness, the cases of people who in a signature, almost raising their hand as in school, ask for permission, and request, if possible, that some kind of clarification be made.

It should be noted that in the notary's office, or at least in mine, one does not come to be told a roll, nor to endure the tedious reading of a document. Personally, I read what is essential, I explain everything that I consider relevant, and I offer myself to be asked, with complete freedom. In most cases, people tend to say that everything has been very correctly explained, but even so there can always be a fringe, which is obviously the subject of a deeper explanation.

A very typical example of a request for a more in-depth explanation is that of "commissions for interest rate risk".

The advice of individuals .

Many are the people and companies that come to my office, essentially, as a result of the articles that I have been publishing on the web. These articles give an idea of your problem, and thus make an appointment, so that your specific case is clarified in more depth.

Within this profile, we can differentiate, in turn, two types of people: those who seek to avoid other legal professionals, in order to avoid expenses and those who seek the neutrality that a Notary is expected to have.

This advice, in any case, has a limit. Notaries document agreements, but we do not impose anything. We suggest, at most, about the correct legal position, or we mediate. But the lack of agreement can only be solved by the Judge.

Does notarial advice cost money?

The advice that is linked to the authorization of a document is not charged, and thus the Royal Decree that regulates the notarial fee tells us that  "The Notary Public may not receive any amount for advice or configuration of the act or business, whose documentation he authorizes."

Advice that is not linked to the formalization of a document, if it is of a simple nature, tradition has imposed that it not be charged.

The problem is in those consultancies, which may require study, or which are of a certain complexity, and which are independent of a document, for which I have no doubt that they can be charged. In fact, it is frequent that in cases like the one I describe, people tend to say, "it's just that I feel calmer if you charge me."


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