In the UAE, one can arrange estate planning in the form of a will if they are at least 21 years of age and you are not a Muslim. A will outlines a person’s wish regarding the distribution of his/her assets among family members, friends or others after the person’s death.
The Essentials of Will Planning in UAE
Planning Wills in UAE is highly advisable, because if you did not want to do it or did not have time to do it, then:
- Personal and corporate bank accounts of the deceased will be frozen until the national bank obtains a court decision on the distribution of funds. The court procedure can take from several months to several years to adjudicate the matter. During that time, it will not be possible to use the frozen funds.
- Joint bank account will also be frozen, because in the UAE there is no concept of “loss of a breadwinner” and the widower will not be able to withdraw money.
- The UAE resident visa for relatives will become invalid.
- Сlose relatives won’t be able to inherit the deceased’s estate.
There are 2 basic options for making a will:
- To make a will in accordance with the law of the country where the potential heir is a resident. This option has the disadvantage of a lengthy process of property transfer to the heirs. In addition, the court has the power to implement Sharia law to deal with inheritance issues. It greatly complicates the procedure.
- To draw up a will in the Arab Emirates. A will registered with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) service does not require additional administrative procedures and can be executed in Dubai itself.
Types of Wills in the UAE
- Protecting personal and business bank accounts. If you have opened a bank account in Dubai, register a testament for this account.
- Protecting your real estate investments in the UAE.
- Custody of children.
- Registering UAE companies, or their shares, in wills becomes part of the business setup process in the UAE.
- Movable property.
The cost of registration of a will in the UAE depends on the authority where it will be certified.
Legal Requirements for Estate Planning in UAE
The following information will be required to make a will:
- Name of the testator.
- Religion of the testator.
- Address of the testator in the UAE.
- Names of the declared heirs and their relationship to the testator.
- Assets, their location and how the testator would like to distribute them (if they do not plan to make the will jointly).
- The names of two witnesses.
- The name of the executor(s) of the will.
- Name of alternate executor(s) if the original executor(s) dies.
Documents required of parties named in the will:
- Copies of passports of all parties;
- Copies of visas and IDs of all parties (if any);
- Email addresses of all parties;
- Contact telephone numbers of all parties;
- DIFC attestation (certification) has an online attestation option.
When drafting a will, the lawyer will discuss with you key aspects of estate planning wills in UAE and describe the nature and purposes for which they are included in the document:
- The powers of each of the heirs.
- In the event of the heir’s death, will his/her property rights be transferred to his/her heirs or will they be included in the rights of the remaining heirs (optional item).
- The name of the alternative heir(s) in the event of the heir’s death.
- The name of the alternate heir(s) in the event of the simultaneous death of all heirs.
- Name of the guardian of the minor heirs (if any).
- Name of the alternative guardian of the minor heirs (if any).
The importance of wills in UAE cannot be underestimated. So, plan your will in UAE with the help of our expert team providing proper will planning in UAE:
* The professional legal fees indicated above apply to wills with up to 10 items of property.
This fee does not include further advice regarding the execution of the will or tax considerations for estate planning in the UAE.
Timeframe for will preparation is 8-12 working days.