A notary is a public officer appointed to draw up deeds among living people (sales, exchanges, divisions, loans, etc.) and by last will (wills), attest their truthfulness, preserve them, issue probate copies, certificates (that is summaries) and abstracts (that is partial copies) (section 1 of the notarial law).

The deed drawn up by a notary is a public deed, since he is entitled to acknowledge its public truthfulness (for this reason the notary is a public officer); as such, the notary’s deed has a special legal power: what the notary attests in the notarial deed (i.e.: the deed has been read before the parties or a statement has been made or undersigned before the notary) can be considered as full evidence (and is to be considered as true even by a judge) unless the crime of forgery has been ascertained.

The notarial deed is required by law for any deed and contract requesting the highest standard of lawfulness, the identity of the parties and compliance with their will to be granted, since considered as extremely important:
- for their social and economic content and their complexity (for instance: sales, divisions, loans, real estate contracts, deeds setting up companies or modifying articles of associations, constitutions of associations willing to obtain legal status, etc.),
- for the effects produced with reference to the civil status of an individual (for instance the acknowledgement of a natural child),
- for the public interest in the free exertion of the individual will and in its being translated into a legal language (for instance, wills and donations).