In performing his function the notary must, by law, be independent and impartial:
he must protect the interests of all parties equally, regardless of who has appointed him.
He must, therefore, decline to act whenever there is a conflict of interest (for example, when his own relatives are parties to a transaction).
The notary performs a prior check on legality: he has a duty to ensure the laws are respected and cannot and must not produce deeds in contravention of the law.
Before drawing up a deed, the notary must determine who the parties are that have come to him and must certify their identity.
The notary also has the duty to ensure that the parties have the right to enter into the transaction. With particular reference to persons who are legally incapable and legal entities, the notary must be sure that the person before him has lawful power of attorney and that all relevant authorisations necessary for the completion of the transaction are in place.
The notary is required to verify the conformity of the intent declared to him with the rules of the legal system, and not only of the Italian legal system.
In the event that a case has foreign implications, the notary must identify the law applicable to the case according to the rules of private international law and must evaluate whether the intention of the parties is in accordance with the applicable rules.
Source: Italian Notarys' Society (Consiglio Nazionale del Notariato)