Many entrepreneurs focus a lot of their energy on building a career, creating a business, and being successful. However, they neglect an important necessity: making a will in the UAE. If an investor does not create a will on time, unfortunate incidents may occur in the family. And the hard-earned asset may not end up in the right benefactor’s hands. Thus, to ensure that your assets are safe and distributed correctly, you must create a will.
In this article, you will find information about the types of wills, the procedure to create a will, where you can register this document, and how we can help you write a will.
- What is a will in the UAE?
- Types of wills
- How is the procedure to make a will in the UAE?
- What is the repercussion of not having a will?
- Who can make a will?
- Where you can register a will in the UAE?
- How can we help you with the arrangements to make a will in the Emirates?
1. What is a will in the UAE?
A will is a document that specifies how an individual wants their assets to be handled, after their demise. A carefully thought and a well-written will holds up to legal scrutiny and leaves little room for possible disputes and interpretation. It can be subject to changes during the person’s life.
2. Types of wills
There are four main types of wills:
2.1 The simple will
As unassuming as it sounds, this type of will covers the most important aspects of this document:
- Define the person who is going to execute your will (the executor)
- Stipulating who will receive your assets
- Naming a guardian for your children, if applicable
2.2. The joint will
This type of will is generally used by married couples or partners. This document is the combination of two wills in one. When a testator passes away, all of their assets pass automatically to the co-testator. When both parties pass away, the executor is notified and the wishes of the deceased are respected and carried out.
2.3 The testamentary trust will
The testamentary trust will is based on establishing a “trust” that contains assets and places them in the hands of a “trustee”. Who takes care of them for a specific period of time. As the trust is, generally, set for the benefit of either mentally ill individuals or young children, the specific time period must appear clearly in the will. It can also specify the age at which the beneficiaries must reach to receive the assets or a milestone they must cross.
2.4 The living will
Similar to the special of attorney, this type will depend on the details of the instructor in relation to the critical care of the testators. This will become effective when and only when the testator becomes ill to make medical decisions on their own. This includes the end of life decisions and whether or not to use extraordinary means to support life.
3. How is the procedure to make a will in the UAE?
A will is a vital document in every person’s life. Through a will, you set instructions regarding the guardianship of your minor children and the inheritance of your assets. The steps to carry out this document are the following:
3.1 Select where to register the will
The courts in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) are two of the most important judicial bodies in the UAE. Both have apartments especially dedicated to the registry of wills. And they are known as the DIFC Courts Wills Service and the ADJD Wills Registry for non-Muslims. These are the two options preferred by non-Muslim ex-pats who wish to register their wills in the UAE.
By registering a will at DIFC or ADJD, you will be able to cover assets located anywhere in the country. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, an option to register via videoconference has been enabled in both departments. Also, if you register your will at DIFC, you will be able to cover assets located in foreign territory. Moreover, you can register in English, a provision that is new in the UAE. In addition to this, the executors of your will have the advantage of taking a short probate in English.
On the other hand, ADJD offers will registration services at very affordable rates. And has included a bilingual court for probate. Our professionals at Connect Zone are highly qualified to carry this and any legal and administrative procedure that you or your company may need.
3.2 Name the beneficiaries
By naming the beneficiaries in your will, you are defining who inherits your assets and how much they inherit. If this aspect is not clear in the document, it is up to the UAE courts to decide the beneficiaries. Generally, you can do this by applying either your home country or the Shariah Law. It depends on the court where you are filing the probate application.
During this process, your family is free from any possible legal entanglements when the beneficiaries are explicitly mentioned in your will. The probate process can be done at a swift pace. In this way, your family will not have to wait long to access your assets. Furthermore, the chances of there being some sort of dispute in your family are lessened. Beneficiaries can inherit assets easily, without the need for other family members to interfere in the process.
Besides naming the main beneficiary, it is important to mention the alternative beneficiaries as well. For instance, most non-muslims wills made in the United Arab Emirates generally have the spouse as the main beneficiary, entitled to 100% ownership of the estate. In the event that the spouse does not survive the testator, the children take the position of alternate beneficiaries. Additional layers of alternate beneficiaries include the testator’s siblings, parents, relatives, or friends.
3.3 Appoint the executors
An executor is responsible for carrying out all instructions of your will. The wills that the people carry out in the UAE generally have an executor and, in most cases, it is someone amongst the sibling, spouse, or a parent. Also, you need to give the alternate executors names in case the principal executor rejects responsibility or passes away before the testator does.
Since the role of an executor can be quite demanding, make sure you choose someone you trust. And who is capable of fulfilling said responsibility. The executor will eventually deal with the wealth you had accumulated during your life. Hence, it is advisable that you think well and have a conversation with whoever you decide to appoint as the executor.
Under the law of the UAE, the executor must be over 21 years at the time of executing the will. This person cannot have a criminal record and it cannot be someone who has been declared insolvent unless they have been rehabilitated now.
3.4 Appoint guardians for your children
In addition to starting the succession of your assets, you must select legal guardians for your minor children through a will. A legal guardian takes care of all the responsibilities that a parent may have. This includes making important decisions related to bringing up the minor and providing financial support for them.
It is a common assumption that the mother is automatically the legal guardian after the father’s death, however, this is not true. Under the law of the United Arab Emirates, the mother gets the “custodian” status. For the wife to be the legal guardian, you must add it to your will.
Generally, wills in the UAE have the spouse as the permanent legal guardian. The biological uncles and aunts of the minor child or the grandparents assume the role of alternate legal guardians. It is advisable to have different layers of guardianship just to cover possible scenarios where the principal and alternate guardians do not survive you. Moreover, you can select temporary guardians to look over your minor children during the buffer period until the permanent guardian arrives in the country.
3.5 Hire a law firm
If you do not make your will right, there can be severe repercussions. A will must keep up with the latest legal changes in the UAE and it must state clear directions to pass on your assets, otherwise, it can make your will difficult to interpret. If a will has an error, it can be considered invalid.
Therefore, you should avoid making wills on your own or hire typing centers to do so. It is always advisable to seek professional legal services for writing a will. Connect Zone is the right choice when it comes to the making of any legal paperwork. Our trained staff will be in charge of carrying out the will quickly and efficiently, maintaining the transparency of the operation at all times.
4. What is the repercussion of not having a will?
After the death of a person in the United Arab Emirates, the bank will freeze their bank accounts (including joint accounts). If you are a female ex-pat and do not have a will, the UAE Law of Inheritance will apply to your assets after your husband passes away. Consequently, the distribution of assets may not be in your favor and any belongings may not be transferred to the right beneficiaries. If your husband dies, you may not be entitled to all or any of the assets, depending on the family situation. Also, not having a will can affect the guardianship of your children if they are under 18.
Creating a will in the UAE will give you the security that your assets will be distributed according to you, and also ensures that your children will be cared for by people you trust. Beneficiaries of your will can access your assets by presenting a succession certificate from the Dubai Family Court, showing their legal entitlement. The same situation applies to the guardian appointed in your will, who will have the responsibility of taking care of your children after you pass away.
5. Who can make a will?
The UAE Law No.15 of 2017 states that any non-Muslim resident who is over 21 years of age can create a will if they possess the following:
- Children below 21 years old
- Movable or immovable assets in Dubai
For Muslims-residents, the distribution of assets will happen under the UAE’s Shariah law.
6. Where you can register a will in the UAE?
You can register a will at Dubai Courts or at the Dubai International Financial Center Will Service Centre.
6.1 How much does it cost to make a will in the UAE?
The cost of registering a will depends on the registration site. At Dubai Courts, the cost can range from AED 8,000 to AED 10,000. At the DIFC Wills Service Centre, it can cost anywhere from AED 15,000 to AED 20,000.
The cost of creating a will includes the drafting of the will, official Arabic translation, lawyer consultation, and registration.
7. How can we help you with the arrangements to make a will in the Emirates?
Our professionals are competent to handle any legal proceedings in the United Arab Emirates. We are a specialized agency with more than twenty years of experience in this field and more than a thousand happy clients. In relation to the deed of wills, our legal advisors will be in charge of carrying it out respecting your wishes and offering your relatives a quick and successful conclusion.
At Connect Zone, we can help you with all kinds of procedures, we carry out the process of any type of visa, we can offer you a wide variety of PRO services and we can also help you obtain an Emirates ID. There are many ways in which we can be of great help for individuals and businesses. This is why you should contact us to find out all you need to know about out excellent solutions.
Do you want to know more about the process to make a will in the UAE? Please, make a call and reach us at +971 43 316 688. We are more than ready to assist you. You can also write all of your inquiries and send them to us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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