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What is a genuine act?

There are two types of acts in French law that oppose: the authentic act and the private deed.

Definition of the authentic instrument

The authentic deed is an act that is obligatorily signed by a public officer empowered by law such as a notary, a bailiff or a state officer. The document is drafted in accordance with the formalities required by law. Its content may have the same power as a judicial decision.

Difference between authentic deed and private deed

Unlike the authentic deed, the private deed is not signed by a public officer but by private persons: the parties concerned. In addition, the authentic act provides a stronger proof of law. It is still possible to challenge it. However, as its contents are ascertained and verified by a competent public officer, the procedure is then complex, equivalent to a contestation of a judicial decision. It is therefore the partiality of the judge that is questioned.

The authentic deed in real estate

Regarding a real estate sale, the authentic deed must be signed by a notary who is a public officer. The signature of the act by all the parties concerned makes it possible to reiterate the sales agreement once all the particular and suspensive conditions have been fulfilled. The parties then meet before their notary who will read it. It will clarify the parties as to the scope of their commitments as well as the consequences of the agreement. Several notaries may be present. All parties sign, the act becomes authentic by the signature of the notary. The sale is then called final.