Real Estate Blog

The Electronic Signature of Notarial Deeds Relating to Real Estate

April 8, 2022

The digital transformation of many business sectors has accelerated in recent months in Luxembourg. A large number of activities that were previously only possible physically, such as contract signatures, have been digitized.

History of Electronic Signatures in Europe

Although it has regulated and recognized electronic signatures since 1999, the EU created the eIDAS (electronic Identification and trust Services) in 2014 to standardize the understanding and expansion of electronic signatures within the Union.

Why electronic signatures are not yet authorized for certain notarial acts in Luxembourg?

The European Union does not issue specific bans on the electronic signature of notarized and bank documents. It is up to the stakeholders to opt or not for the electronic signature and to determine its level of security. If the country where the contract is signed has the same legislation as the EU, then you can electronically sign a mortgage loan, a compromise or a deed of sale.

At the national level, the majority of notarial and banking deeds can only be signed in the physical presence of the various stakeholders. Although the legislation tends to evolve rapidly, it is currently impossible to electronically sign notarial and banking deeds via an electronic solution.

The Use of Electronic Signatures in Europe

As mentioned in the article The digital transformation of real estate in Luxembourg, several European countries have widely adopted electronic signatures. In Finland and Denmark, people no longer go to the notary to carry out a real estate transaction. France has authorized the signing of distance selling deeds since 2020 and Belgium grants the same legal value to electronic signatures as handwritten ones.

The Bill on the Signing of Notarial Deeds in Luxembourg

Sam Tanson, Minister of Justice in Luxembourg, has recently introduced a bill to digitize a part of notarial deeds. With the exception of wills, all notarial deeds could then be signed without the physical presence of the various parties involved.

If we adapt this legal text to real estate, this means that the deeds and sales agreements may, as soon as the law is adopted and subject to the acceptance of the notary, be signed remotely. The real estate administrative path of Luxembourgers could therefore be significantly improved.

The Grand Duchy is lagging behind its neighboring countries but is continuing its digital transition step by step. We can now hope for the digitization of all administrative procedures and the upcoming arrival of Smart Documents, these automatic documents that could save precious time for all real estate stakeholders in Luxembourg.