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A Guide to Will Drafting in the UAE: Expert Guidance from Al Kabban & Associates

Home / Family Law / A Guide to Will Drafting in the UAE: Expert Guidance from Al Kabban & Associates
writing a will

Drafting a will is an indispensable aspect of estate planning, ensuring the protection of one’s assets and providing a clear roadmap for distributing wealth among heirs and beneficiaries. In the diverse and multicultural landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where expatriates and UAE nationals coexist harmoniously, sound estate planning translates into a significant demand for comprehensive and accurate will drafting. 

Navigating the intricacies of the UAE’s legal system and understanding the nuances of local inheritance laws necessitate expert guidance from an experienced legal advisor, such as Al Kabban & Associates.

This comprehensive guide delves into the importance of will drafting in the UAE, offering invaluable insights into the types of wills available, the legal requirements for a valid will, and the practical steps involved in drafting a will that meets your unique needs and expectations. Furthermore, we shed light on the exceptional services and expertise offered by Al Kabban & Associates in guiding clients through the will drafting process, ensuring a well-drafted, comprehensive will that instils confidence and peace of mind.

Whether you are a UAE national seeking to safeguard your family’s future or an expatriate desiring to navigate the complexities of the UAE’s inheritance laws, this guide offers vital resources and know-how to help you successfully plan your estate and draft a will that accurately reflects your wishes. 

By partnering with Al Kabban & Associates, you can be confident that your will drafting and estate planning journey is supported by a team of skilled professionals well-versed in the legal intricacies and regulatory requisites of safeguarding your wealth and securing your family’s future.

Understanding the Types of Wills in the UAE

1. Shariah-Compliant Wills: Shariah law governs inheritance matters for UAE nationals and Muslim expatriates. Shariah-compliant wills ensure that the distribution of assets adheres to Islamic law principles, considering fixed shares for heirs and guidelines for bequests to non-heirs.

2. Non-Muslim Wills: For non-Muslim expatriates residing in the UAE, creating a will based on their home country’s inheritance laws is a viable option. Such wills ensure that the distribution of assets aligns with the testator’s wishes, contrasting with the fixed shares prescribed under Shariah law.

3. DIFC Wills: Through its Wills Service Centre, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) offers a dedicated platform for non-Muslims to register wills that cover assets in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. DIFC wills provide a streamlined process, ensuring enforceability and protection under DIFC’s jurisdiction.

4. Jointly Held Assets and Guardianship Wills: For married couples or partners with jointly held assets in the UAE, a specific will can be drafted to outline the distribution of shared property. Additionally, guardianship wills are vital for parents with minor children residing in the UAE, as they outline the preferred guardianship arrangements in the event of the parent’s demise.

Legal Requirements for a Valid Will in the UAE

1. Testator’s Capacity: To draft a valid will, the testator must be of sound mind, have full legal capacity, and be at least 21 years of age.

2. Written and Signed Document: A valid will must be in writing, clearly detailing the testator’s wishes regarding the distribution of assets and other related matters. The testator and two witnesses must sign the will, with witnesses required to be of sound mind, legally capable, and impartial.

3. Language Requirements: In the UAE, wills must be written in Arabic or bilingual (Arabic and English). Non-Arabic speakers are advised to use a certified legal translator to ensure that the Arabic version of the will accurately reflects the testator’s intentions.

4. Compliance with Applicable Laws: Wills should comply with regional inheritance laws or the testator’s home country’s inheritance laws, subject to the UAE’s public order and legal regulations.

The Al Kabban & Associates Advantage in Will Drafting

1. Personalised Advice: Al Kabban & Associates offers tailored advice to clients, taking into account factors like the testator’s nationality, religion, family situation, and assets, ensuring a comprehensive estate planning strategy.

2. Comprehensive Will Drafting: The experienced team at Al Kabban & Associates ensures that each will incorporates the testator’s wishes, conforms to both local and international legal requirements, and remains enforceable within the UAE’s legal framework.

3. Post-Drafting Support: Al Kabban & Associates provides guidance on processes like registering the will with the relevant authorities, witnessing requirements, and maintaining a safe and secure record of the finalised will.

4. Estate Planning Expertise: With Al Kabban & Associates’ extensive knowledge of UAE inheritance laws and regulations, clients can trust that their estate planning and will drafting needs are managed professionally and thoroughly, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Practical Steps for Drafting a Will

1. Assess Your Assets: Create an inventory of all assets, including properties, bank accounts, investments, personal belongings, and any other valuables.

2. Choose Your Beneficiaries: Determine the individuals or organisations you wish to inherit your assets, such as family members, friends, or charitable organisations.

3. Appoint an Executor: Designate a trusted individual or professional entity responsible for carrying out your wishes, as outlined in the will, after your demise.

4. Consult with a Legal Advisor: Engage the services of an experienced legal advisor such as Al Kabban & Associates to draft a comprehensive, legally compliant will that accurately reflects your wishes and adheres to UAE’s legal requirements.

Conclusion

Will drafting and estate planning are crucial components in safeguarding your assets, as well as ensuring the financial security of loved ones and future generations. Understanding the various types of wills, the legal requirements for a valid will, and the available resources can make this intricate process more manageable for expatriates and UAE nationals alike.

By partnering with Al Kabban & Associates, you can secure your family’s future while receiving expert and personalised guidance on creating a comprehensive will that caters to your unique needs. With over 30 years of experience, the dedicated team at Al Kabban & Associates demonstrates an unwavering commitment to providing exceptional corporate legal services in Dubai, empowering you to traverse the complex landscape of will drafting and estate planning with confidence and peace of mind.

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