Preparing a will is not something that’s thought about by a large number of individuals since they don’t wish to consider death as a feasible alternative anytime soon. However, there are a number of reasons one needs to choose to draft a will. In simple terms, a will is a letter of testamentary intent that contains a person’s wishes concerning that person’s properties/personal affairs as well as the ones who will inherit them.
Significance of a Will
UAE law requires the courts to apply Sharia law to the possessions left behind in the case of an emigrant who passes away without a will.
When a will is in place, an individual can be confident that everything he/she owns, even their loved ones, will be taken care of according to his wishes when he dies Also, when a will is in place, it turns the task of arranging everything on an individual’s demise be at ease and
Having a will makes the process of arranging everything on a person’s death be at ease and it gives the person an assurance that all the things that he owns, including his family, will be dealt with according to his wishes.
Thus, it would be wise to have a will in UAE, particularly if you own properties and have a family in the UAE, since you might face several undesirable scenarios, including those mentioned below:
- Bank account that cannot have money withdrawn from that account, due to a court order.
- Cancellation of dependent visas
- You might be subject to UAE law in your predicament, which is not to your benefit.
- The likelihood of frozen or untimely investments
- Possibility of family disputes over assets
The Wills of Expats Both Muslim and Non-Muslim in UAE
Depending on a individuals’ beliefs, the rules that are applicable will vary. For Muslim and non-Muslim ex-pats, there is a peculiar set of laws.
Will For Muslim
The death of a Muslim automatically entails the application of Sharia law. If there is no will, the disposition of the deceased individual’s assets will be according to Sharia law. The below-mentioned case is the basis of a situation where a man leaves behind AED 250,000:
With parents, a spouse, a son, a daughter.
The father and mother will receive ⅙ respectively.
The spouse will receive ⅛ of AED 250,000
The son will receive two parts of the remaining sum.
The daughter will receive one part of the remaining sum.
With parents, spouses, but no children around.
The spouse will receive ¼ of AED 250,000:
The mother will receive ⅓ of AED 250,000:
The father will receive the remaining sum
Only with a mother, and spouse.
The spouse will receive ¼ of AED 250,000 and the remaining sum
The mother will receive ⅓ of AED 250,000 and the remaining sum
Although each family’s situation is unique, each family’s case is still covered by Sharia law. The court’s judges are not bound by the rulings of the higher courts or other courts. Rather, the judiciary decisions are often based on Sharia principles. While being a Muslim, a benefit can still be gained by having a will, despite the law invariably applying.
An individual can go ahead and plan out a will, with the inheritor a non-family member or a third party, it is only possible provided the beneficiary doesn’t inherit over ⅓ of the deceased individual’s assets. If this does, then the beneficiary should consent to this part of the will.
Will For Non-Muslims
Specifically, Article 17/1 of the Civil Code of the UAE stipulates that the departed individual’s homeland’s laws govern the departed individuals’ inheritance during the time of death. But, also in the departed individual’s homeland’s laws, Article 17(5) restricts the preceding article, considering the assets possessed by the late person in the United Arab Emirates. Added to that, it must be kept in mind that the law of the late person’s homeland can be applied, only in cases where it doesn’t conflict with the principles of the law. An ex-pat who is not Muslim needs to expect this, but, that if there is no will and they pass away in the UAE, the law will govern how their wealth is divided.
It’s possible for the non-Muslim expatriates to plan out the will on their own or with the assistance of a Legal consultant at Law Offices in Dubai, and should be vetted by a specialist in the United Arab Emirates, after which it should be sent to the DIFC WPR or the Dubai courts.
The non-Muslim ex-pats get the privilege and liberty to ensure that the distribution of their assets is made according to their wishes outlined in their will.
It is also worth noting that a non-Muslim ex-pat can go ahead and plan out a will, with the inheritor a non-family member or a third party, it is only possible provided the beneficiary doesn’t inherit over ⅓ of the deceased individual’s assets. If this does, then the beneficiary should consent to this part of the will.
Steps in Registering a Will
If you are in the category of individuals having assets, properties, insurances, bank accounts, and so on., then the following guide will help you to make your own will.
Drafting Your Will
To do so, you can go ahead with the process or seek the assistance of a legal consultant from outside the United Arab Emirates to draft the will. Prior to handing over the will to the government authority, it is essential that you have an expert evaluate it. The incorrect draft can cause trouble for your inheritors later on.
Translating the Will into Arabic
Dubai courts necessitate translation of the will to Arabic, done by a registered legal translating center. This service provider should be authorized by the courts and the Ministry of justice.
Parts in your will namely guardianship, assets, bank accounts, etc can be applied nationwide after the will is being implemented. Your will is valid in each and every emirate if it is filed with the Dubai Courts. It costs about AED 2,000 to register a will.
Upon completing the aforementioned steps, your legal document is then processed for registration and will be signed in the Dubai courts. There’s no need to submit more documents to the consulate or embassy. Keep in mind, that the assets you own in your country of residence will continue to be governed by the local laws and regulations.
Will registration is a complicated process, and thus it’s necessary to seek the assistance of a consultant to assist you with the step-by-step process and with the previously mentioned steps so that will registration is no longer stressful, in terms of vetting the documents. You can get in touch with GH International for more information concerning Will drafting since we will be happy to provide assistance regarding any legal matters.
Seeking the best Law Offices in Dubai? With extensive years of experience, satisfied clients, and specialized services, GH International offers the finest legal solutions to our clients. We extend Legal Services and Corporate Services which include Business Setup Services in Dubai. With a distinguished team of British Lawyers in Dubai, GH International is well-equipped to handle any issue you encounter.