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Whether is comes to divorce settlements, inheritance disputes or notarial mediation in accordance with the Property Rights Validating Act (Sachenrechtsbereinigungsgesetz): Involving a notary public doesn’t just help to avoid future arguments, it can also eliminate a dispute that has arisen.

As a holder of public office, notaries public are active in the entire area of preventative administration of justice. Through their function as assistants and advisors, in many different ways they can avoid disputes in the first place or settle disputes that have arisen with mutually agreed solutions. However, due to their position as an independent and impartial agent and their expertise as arbitrators, notaries public can adjudicate disputes even when agreement is impossible. Engaging a notary public therefore avoids lengthy and costly court cases.

When contracts are concluded, disputes among the various parties involved often do not arise in the first place because notaries public are involved as professional advisors from the outset - with legal advice, the preparation of drafts, the actual conclusion of the contract (notarization) and the administration (execution). In all of these phases, unlike attorneys-at-law, we are obliged to act in the interests of both parties.

Due to our legal position as independent and impartial service provider to the parties involved, notaries public vigilantly ensure that there is an equitable balance of all the contractual parties’ interests. The statutory information, auditing and instruction duties and the prescribed formalities in accordance with the German Notarization Act help to clarify unresolved questions and problems in advance and in conjunction with the conclusion of the contract. The notarial deed is formulated clearly, unquestionably and without any unresolved points. As a public record, it provides you with complete evidence of the certification procedure, and as an execution deed you are saved a courtroom visit.

Four advantages of notarial arbitration stand out particularly:

  • Arbitration is more than a court proceeding: The parties involved determine the outcome themselves. There are no winners or losers.
  • The initiation of an arbitration process interrupts the limitation period, which gains time for negotiations.
  • The arbitration agreement can be implemented immediately like a court ruling.
  • Agreements before an independent authority, such as the notary public, are quicker, less bureaucratic and cheaper than a court for certain disputes ruling.
  • National law can insist that for certain disputes an attempt to reach an agreement with the assistance of a notary public or another conciliator must have been made before legal action can be taken. The first citizens of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia have started to make use of this opportunity.

But a mediation procedure can be used in any other dispute at anytime, too. The notary public provides impartial assistance in finding a solution that is viable for both parties. If the parties involved desire it, the notary public can draw up the agreement in a way that is legally unequivocal and handle its practical implementation. This ensures the success of the arbitration process, also with regard to legal and economic matters.

The Federal Council of Notaries has issued Rules for Conciliation (GüteO) in order to provide the arbitrating notary and the arbitration parties with guidelines for the formal procedure of an arbitration process. These Rules for Conciliation (GüteO) can be found here.

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