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Notary in Poland: Rules and Regulations

The notary public in Poland is appointed to perform activities, which parties are required to, or are willing to provide with a notarial form. Within the scope of its authorisation, a notary acts as a public trust person, making use of protection vested in public functionaries. Notarial activities (eg. transfering real estate property), performed by a notary in compliance with the law, have the nature of an official document. Whilst performing notarial activities, the notary is required to watch over proper protection of rights and fair interests of parties and other persons with respect to whom such activities may have legal effects. In Poland every notarial act must be performed in the Polish language and fees need to be paid in PLN. If you do not have a good command of Polish, you cannot be a party to a deed in Polish, unless a state appointed translator is hired who will officially translate it for you into English before you sign it. You can always contact notary office where notary speaks english (there is many of them) and make an arrangement. You do not need to bring with you a sworn translator to have a notarial deed read out for you in English. The rule is that the notary is required to provide the parties with indispensable clarifications regarding the performed notarial activity. The notary in Poland has to refuse performance of a notarial activity inconsistent with the law. The notary has to keep circumstances of the case with which he/ she became acquainted on account of the performed notarial activities confidential.

It is a role of a notary in Krakow to prevent court litigation by ensuring the predictability and safety of notarial rules, as in the course of his/her notary’s activities, notary acording to regulations is obligated to ensure the proper securing of rights and just interests of the parties as well as other persons with respect to whom the action may give rise to legal consequences. The notarial professional organization is formed by notaries. It consists of regional notarial chambers and the Polish National Council of Notaries. Notaries Law Act constitutes a legal basis for its activities. Regional notarial chambers like the one in Krakow and the Polish National Council of Notaries are the organizational units of the notarial professional organization. A regional chamber of notaries is composed of notaries running notarial offices within the constituency of the competent appellate court, and its seat is located in the same city in which the competent appellate court has its seat. The membership in the notarial professional organization is mandatory. According to Notary Law from February 14, 1991 art. 79 th notary performs services listed below:
  1. drafting notarial deeds, including: contracts of donation, life annuity contracts, sales contracts, division of joint property, marital property contracts, preliminary contracts, developer contracts, contracts transferring the ownership of property, conditional agreements, exchange agreements, establishment of personal and land servitude, establishment of transmission easement, division of inheritance, cessation of ownership, limited liability company deeds, deeds of submitting to execution, wills, powers of attorney
  2. preparing, upon the request of the parties, drafts of deeds, statements and other documents
  3. drafting deeds of succession certificates
  4. preparing protocols (including minutes of meetings of shareholders, housing estates, protocols related to the attendance of parties and statements made, as well as, at the request of the appearing party, protocol of failure to appear of the other party)
  5. drafting protests of promissory notes and checks
  6. preparing certifications: documents (certified copies, signature confirmations, specimen signatures, certified dates, certifications of the fact that a person stays alive or stays at a specific location)
  7. taking money, securities, documents and data carriers for safekeeping (notary public can only accept money and securities that are associated with a given action undertaken by the notary office in order for it to be given to a previously appointed person)
  8. preparing true and correct copies, abstracts, and excerpts of documents
History of Polish notaries
The notaries appeared in Poland in the end of the XIII century. They were the Pope‛s notaries appointed by the archbishop of Gniezno. The oldest discovered Polish notary act was issued in 1287. The public notaries, notary regents and clerks in Poland used the collections of document forms elaborated for their own use during their notary assistance or practice or printed since the XVI century. Political partitions and the fall of Poland state in 1795 ended the Polish notary public institution. When Poland regained independence in 1918, there were several legal systems inherited from the invaders functioning on a Polish territory. This was also reflected in the notary law and notarial practice by only few Polish notaries, but new laws were passed and notaries reborned again. The begining of the World War II destroyed organizational and intellectual efforts of the Polish notaries. The notaries represented the Polish intellectuals and were exposed to repression from Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. The political and organizational assumptions of Polish People‛s Republic abandoned standards of pre-war Poland and its derived institutions, including the considerably independent and self-administered notary instituton. After the iron curtain had fallen on the 14th of February 1991 the new notary law was passed restoring the position of the notary as the public confidence person and independent profession. More about history of Polish notaries here.

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