While the Spanish notary has certain characteristics in common with its United States and UK counterparts, including his status as an official witnesses, he plays a much larger role and is a vital element in the Spanish legal system. To become a notary, one must obtain a legal degree and pass a highly competitive examination. Thereafter, a notary is authorized not only to act as a state-authorized witness, but must also intervene in any number of operations to give them validity or greater enforceability, including, but not limited to, the execution of wills, the purchase of real property and the sale of company shares. Notaries are also responsible for maintaining original documentation related to such operations and issuing notarized copies to the parties for their own use. Notaries also act as advisors with respect to such operations, to ensure their validity and effective completion.
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