In general the purchase/sale is the contract having the purpose of transferring the ownership of a house or the transfer of some other right for the equivalent of a price; more generically it could be said that the purchase/sale of real estate is the formal agreement by means of which one party, called the seller, transfers to another, called purchaser, the ownership of a given property against payment of the price agreed on.
Our juridical system, in view of the extreme importance of real estate ownership, not only requires that the agreement of the parties is expressed in written form, but also requires the observance of certain essential rules, the presence of certain fundamental requirements and the contextual fulfilment of certain particular obligations.
Precisely for these reasons and above all for the purpose of safeguarding the high value of the stake involved, the task of dealing with real estate purchase/sales has been entrusted to the civil law notary, in his/her twofold capacity of public official and expert professional in the juridical field, who may also suggest alternative solutions better suited to achievement of the result hoped for in relation to each concrete case.
A home loan is a contract whereby one party, called the lender (usually a bank), transfers a given sum of money to a second party known as the borrower, so that the latter may use it for a given time in exchange for paying the former an amount representing interest. A home loan includes various clauses that are not always immediately comprehensible but are necessary for regulating all the relations between the parties for the duration of the contract: the method for granting the home loan, the fixing of the terms for repayment of the capital and payment of interest, determination of other expenses for the administration of the contract, the rules for early discharge, provision and maintenance of the guarantees, consequences of breaches of contract that may be relative (late payments) or absolute (non-payment). Home loan contracts are generally prepared by the banks; the notary, if engaged by the borrower in time, can intervene to make them clearer and more comprehensible, to identify and suggest the best solutions for the parties, and to eliminate clauses that may generate unjustified contractual imbalances. The so-called unilateral home loan, instead, which has recently become common, does not constitute a type apart. Its difference is entirely due to the fact that the only party to visit the notary (as is indispensable for the use of a mortgage as collateral) is the borrower: this method of implementation may, according to the specific case, effectively reduce the notary's room for exercising his guiding and counselling function.
When someone dies it is advisable to immediately obtain information on the transfer of the succession, that is, it has to be ascertained whether the succession – in the case in point – will be regulated by the law (since the deceased person has not left a will) or else, wholly or in part, by a will. Death is a grave and important event, on the basis of which different provisions of the law may take effect, besides the will of the deceased; in order to avoid even important unforeseen consequences, it is undoubtedly advisable to refer straightway to an expert in this field. On that basis, it is necessary first of all to check whether the deceased has left a will. If an holographic will is found, this should be taken to a civil law notary who will take the necessary steps to have it made known.
Similarly the civil law notary should be contacted if the family knows of the existence of a public will, that is of the existence of a holographic will entrusted to the civil law notary in fiduciary custody.
If nothing is known regarding the existence or otherwise of a will, the Notarial Archives should be consulted (for the purpose of carrying out a search in the General Register of Wills). Thereafter it would be well to reconstruct a complete picture of the assets of the deceased person, also with a view to drawing up the declaration of succession for tax purposes. In this connection too, in order to avoid errors or omissions, the civil law notary will be able to provide appropriate indications for acquiring all the information necessary for an exact identification of the goods included in the succession.