Notare (Notary publics)

What functions does a German notary public (Notar) have?

A public notary (Notar) is a bearer of an independent public office. His main function is to certify documents and to authenticate copies of documents (§1 BNotO). By education, a notary public is an attorney in Germany, and not just any decent person as in some other countries. Some German states allow a notary public to practice law and serve as a notary public at the same time. If you do not speak German well, ask him beforehand if he speaks your language. You cannot expect a notary public to speak a foreign language but it is also very common that there is one, who speaks more than just German. If you really want to be on the safe side, visit the public notary with a certified translator of your choice. A certified translator might be expensive, but you would have a neutral witness in case of a dispute.
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What does a notary cost?

Notary public fees are determined exclusively by value of the documentation in accordance with a special fee ordinance. There is no possibility for negotiation! If you want to have a document certified for a limited liability company, for instance, the value of the documentation will be the company’s capital stock. Since minimum capital stock in Germany must be € 25,000, fees for such services start at € 100.
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Isn’t just a waste of money to notarize my last will? I know what I’m doing and the structure of my assets are not that complicated.

Not really. If you do not notarize your testament, you will have to apply for a certificate of inheritance at your local county court (Amtsgericht). The costs will be approximately the same as for notarization. The application proceedings for an inheritance certificate last – at least in Berlin – for a minimum of six months.
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As I heard, I have to sign in front of a notary public for a valid last will, which is not in hand-writing. How much does notarization cost me?

To understand following table please know that “worth” refers to assets = credits – debits. The notary fees below are all including (i.e. reimbursements, 19% VAT). Additional costs will arise if these documents are to be stored at court.
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Value
Last will
Joint last will / inheritance contract
General PoA *
Precautionary and Patient’s Last Will
50,000.00
132.00
264.00
66.00
39.00
100,000.00
207.00
414.00
103.50
39.00
500,000.00
807.00
1,614.00
403.50
39.00
1,000,000.00
1,557.00
3,114.00
403.50**
39.00
* = General power of attorney
** = maximum fee

 


For another perspective, check out:    german_way