A notary is a holder of a public office, which is granted by the government. They perform their work as neutral consultants and file certifications and authentications, which are designated by the law.

In Berlin, the so-called “attorney-notaries” rule (Anwaltsnotar) is applied, which means that all notary costs must be the same and may not be different for equal situations. As of 01/01/2007 there were 11,117 lawyers, 3 legal counsels, and 3 lawyer´s GmbH or RA-GmbH (GmbH = partnership with limited liability). Per 01/01/2007 there were also 999 lawyer’s notaries in Berlin.

The use of a notary is required especially in following areas:

1. Property

The transfer of real property, in the form of a gift under usufruct reservation, purchase or related mortgages, and homestead equity loans (HEL) require a notary documentation (§ 311 b BGB, §§ 19, 29, 39 GBO).

2. Marriages, Partnerships, and Family

For marriages, partnerships, or families the law will determine the assistance for a marriage contract (§ 1410 BGB). The same applies to separation and divorce agreements and partnership contracts. Notarizations are compulsory for agreements on community property right before a divorce according to § 1378 Abs. 3 S. 2 BGB. In case there an internal connection exists between mandatory and non-mandatory notarization matters of fact, a comprehensive notarization liability can be assumed. Adoptions require the assistance of a notary as well (compare for instance pension rights adjustments, § 1408 Abs. 2 BGB, division of property, §1414 BGB, community property, §§ 1415ff. BGB).

3. Inheritance and Gifts

For inheritances or gifts (also called anticipated succession) the assistance of a notary is usually common. In some cases it is even required, for instance for testaments or inheritance contracts, inheritance certificate applications in connection with an affidavit, an endowment, especially for the transference of real property (compare § 518 BGB for an endowment, §§ 2231 Nr. 1, 2232 BGB for a public testimony, § 2276 BGB in connection with §§ 33, 30, 32 BeurkG for inheritance contracts including inheritance waiving or legal portioning contracts, § 2348 BGB).

The Law Firm Kirsch provides English documents (last will, precautionary authority, advance directive, maintenance directive) in case the decedent, principal, or agent are foreign citizens.

4. Filing for Commerce Register, Formation or Transformations of Partnerships

In many cases, filings of commerce registers and formation or transformations of partnerships require the assistance of a notary.

5. Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Attendance and Health Care Proxy

A notary commonly certifies durable powers of attorney, in connection with a medical attendance or health care proxy, occasionally also single abstracts. Subsequently, it can also be used to validate full legal and testamentary capacity.

6. Notarial Acknowledgment of a Debt

The notary’s role is to reduce conflicts or to relieve the courts. For example, when they make sure the creditor gets an enforceable title, which is only possible if the debtor agrees to such a procedure.

For further information, refer to

On our notary, we offer – as it is the case with every other notary – the certification or authentication of following contracts or legal transactions:

Purchase of land, made gift of land or contracts of the transference of land, no matter if developed or not, purchase or gift of condominium, hope equity or mortgage loan appointments, appointment of so-called servitudes.

Testimonies, inheritance contracts, negotiations on certificates of inheritance, marriage contracts, separation and divorce forward agreements.

Applications for commerce register filing, GmbH-formation contracts, partnerships, BGB Company (partnership under the German Civil Code), general partnership, limited liability company, LPC (Ltd.), UG (limited liability)

Applications for association register filing when forming a new association, transformations of the constitution or the committee.

It applies for the same (not for different) affairs.

In case of an earlier lawyer’s representation, no notary involvement is permitted. Vice versa it applies the same: if, for example, the notary has already authenticated a contract, he is not permitted to act on any party’s interest as lawyer for the same matter (§ 3 Abs. 1 Nr. 7 BeurkG, § 45 BRAO).