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Your Guide to Differentiating Dubai Court and DIFC Wills

Home / Property Law / Your Guide to Differentiating Dubai Court and DIFC Wills

Whether you’re an expatriate or a national of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), estate planning is crucial for your financial future. It means placing legal arrangements for transferring your assets and wealth to the rightful beneficiaries after your death. This daunting but essential step can save your loved ones from financial and emotional stress. 

One of the essential things you must consider in financial planning is knowing the difference between Dubai Court and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) wills. While both provide legal protection for your assets and loved ones after your passing, their jurisdiction, requirements, and enforcement differ.

If you want to ensure a successful financial planning process, this article will differentiate these two wills and what options the DILC offers. We’ll also answer some commonly asked questions. 

Dubai Court Will: What Is It and How to Create It

When creating a Dubai court will, you must translate all documents into Arabic, usually costing around Dh 1,500. The Dubai Courts accept wills from Muslim and non-Muslim residents, ensuring they follow the proper religious processes. If Arabic is your family’s preferred language, creating an Arabic document can help clarify estate matters for your loved ones. You can also use the Arabic version to establish trust.

What Are DIFC Wills?

On the other hand, the DIFC’s Wills and Probate Registry is exclusively for non-Muslim individuals, even those who haven’t followed the Islamic faith and is available in English. When registering the document here, officials will safely store it for 120 years after the individual’s birth date. They create these papers following the personal status laws of the UAE and base them on the UK’s Common Law. 

4 Options That the DIFC Offers

After differentiating the two wills, here are four options that the DIFC offers to help you create an advanced plan for your inheritance. 

1. Full Will 

Here, you can include all your assets and mention who you want to be your children’s legal guardians. 

2. Property Will 

According to the property will, an individual can own up to five properties in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. 

3. Guardianship Will 

This legal document lets you designate someone to look after your children if you die or become incapacitated. You should create this will alone, meaning you won’t involve other parties. 

4. Freezone Company Will

This document lets you transfer your ownership or shares of Freezone companies in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, including the Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre, to the rightful beneficiary.

How Much Do These Wills Cost?

The four types of DIFC Wills have variations that can affect the cost, ranging from Dh10,000 for a full Will to Dh15,000 for a Mirror Will for a spouse.

How Can You Spread the Cost of DILC Wills?

You can pay for DIFC Wills in instalments, and you should pick a reliable executor to administer your affairs. They should be someone close to you who can oversee the process and be a central point of contact for loved ones.

Why Should You Care about UAE Wills?

If you haven’t sorted out a Will in the UAE, your family will have to deal with the fallout and high stress. Many expatriates prioritise short-term enjoyment over thinking about passing on, but planning for the future is essential. 

How Did the DIFC Benefit Inviduals?

Expats usually prioritise short-term spending over setting up a will. However, the DIFC Wills & Probate Registry makes arranging a testament in Dubai easier. Despite this development, it’s still best to seek legal advice to ensure you prepare the document correctly. Moreover, expatriates must still get a will in their native country. 

Drafting Your Last Wishes Early

Most people dread death and how to pass an inheritance to the rightful beneficiaries, but estate planning can spare your loved ones from even more stress. You can find the best will by finding a reputable lawyer, considering your needs, and working with a reliable executor. 

If you’re an expatriate needing assistance differentiating wills in the UAE, contact Al Kabban & Associates! We’re committed to making estate planning stress-free for our clients with our years of experience and comprehensive knowledge of the legal system. Contact us now!


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