What does a civil law notary do ?

In Belgium, the notary is guided by the National Chamber of Notaries (Chambre nationale des notaires/Nationale Kamer van Notarissen), the Royal Federation of Belgian notaries and the Provincial Chambers of Notaries.

The main objectives of the National Chamber are to represent the notaries of Belgium in dealings with the authorities when it comes to the status of their profession, to establish rules of professional conduct and to make recommendations to Provincial Chambers of notaries to help them in maintaining professional discipline. This latter aspect is the main task of the Provincial Chambers, which – together with the courts – are the profession’s disciplinary bodies: they ensure that the rules of professional conduct are observed and settle professional disputes (among other things, they handle complaints).

The Royal Federation of Belgian Notaries is a professional association that assists notaries in their daily work by providing tailored services in the areas of competence of the notary. They also represent the profession in a variety of cases.

Furthermore, the citizen can rely on an Ombudsman in case they have a complaint about their notary. This service has been available since 2015. More information can be found on www.ombudsnotaire.be (in French).


Family Law

The Belgian notary advises citizens, and drafts authentic acts in many aspects that relate to their family life, which include:

  • Marriage contracts
  • Factual or legal cohabitation
  • Divorce
  • Care mandates and declarations of preference

Succession law

Also in the field of inheritance, the Belgian notary plays an important role. The notary is the competent authority in Belgium to handle the succession of those who have their habitual residence in Belgium when they pass away. The notary advises the citizens when it comes to succession matters relating to:

  • Last wills
  • Declaration of succession
  • An agreement as to succession
  • Donations
  • Acceptance or refusal of the inheritance
  • Distribution of the estate

Real estate

The Belgian notary is the main advisor for those seeking to buy a house, as the purchase act and registration of the transfer of property are obligatorily done by the notary. The notary plays a pivotal role in:

  • The signing of the preliminary purchase agreement
  • Obtaining all necessary documents
  • Rental agreements
  • Obtaining a mortgage
  • Rights of way and leases


When starting a business in Belgium, some company forms require constitution via a notarial act, and the notary advises the client on all the relevant aspects of entrepreneurship, which include:

  • Which company form to choose
  • The fiscal consequences
  • The consequences concerning personal liability


Some notaries are also approved mediators, thereby helping parties to resolve conflicts they may have without the involvement of a court. When a settlement arising from mediation is enacted in the authentic form, it becomes an enforceable title without involvement of a court.