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The Importance of Drafting a Legally Binding Will in the UAE

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In the United Arab Emirates, having a legally binding will in place is essential for preserving and distributing personal and financial assets after one’s passing. Drafting a will can be a complex and sensitive process, encompassing legal, cultural, and personal considerations. However, having a valid and well-drafted will ensures that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Partnering with an experienced law firm like Al Kabban & Associates can provide expert guidance and support in drafting a legally valid will, ensuring compliance with the UAE’s legal framework.

In this informative article, we will discuss the importance and significance of drafting a legally binding will, addressing the UAE’s legal framework surrounding wills, and potential consequences of not having a valid will in place. 

Understanding the Legal Framework Surrounding Wills in the UAE

1. UAE Inheritance Laws: The UAE courts apply Sharia law for inheritance matters involving Muslim individuals. For non-Muslims, the law allows the application of their home country’s inheritance laws, provided that the deceased has a registered will in the UAE. However, if no such will exists, Sharia law may be applied for non-Muslims as well. Understanding these nuances is crucial when drafting a will in the UAE.

2. DIFC Wills and Probate Registry: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Wills and Probate Registry is the only institution in the UAE that allows non-Muslim residents to register a will in English. The registry is authorised to manage the distribution and succession of movable and immovable assets within the Emirate of Dubai. Registering a will with the DIFC registry provides recognition and enforceability, ensuring that your assets are distributed as intended.

3. Sharia Law Implications: When drafting a will in the UAE, it is crucial to consider the potential implications of Sharia law. Under Sharia law, mandatory fixed shares are given to specific heirs, and any provisions in your will that contradict these allocations might be deemed invalid. It is crucial to consult with legal professionals well-versed in both Sharia and international inheritance laws when crafting your will.

4. International Inheritance Laws: For expats with assets in multiple countries, understanding international inheritance laws and tax regulations is vital to ensure assets are distributed according to your wishes. Involving a legal professional can help to navigate the complexities of international contracts and agreements, ensuring an enforceable and legally compliant will.

Key Components of a Legally Binding Will

1. Personal Information: Your will should contain your full name, nationality, and Emirates ID number. It must also designate an executor – the person responsible for carrying out the provisions in your will.

2. Asset Distribution: Your will should include a detailed record of your assets, such as property, bank accounts, investments, and personal possessions, as well as the intended beneficiaries for each asset. Clarity and specificity are crucial to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

3. Appointment of Legal Guardians: For those with minor children, appointing a legal guardian in your will is a vital consideration. This person will be responsible for the care and upbringing of your children in the event of your demise. It is essential to discuss this decision with the prospective guardian in advance, ensuring their willingness to take on the responsibility.

4. Witnesses and Signatures: For a will to be legally valid in the UAE, it must be signed by the testator (the person creating the will), as well as two witnesses who are not beneficiaries.

How Al Kabban & Associates Can Assist in Will Drafting and Estate Planning

1. Tailored Legal Consultation: Al Kabban & Associates provides personalised legal advice and support, helping clients understand the legal framework surrounding wills in the UAE, and ensuring that their wills are drafted in compliance with local and international laws.

2. Expert Drafting Services: The professionals at Al Kabban & Associates are skilled in drafting legally binding wills for clients with diverse backgrounds and assets. They provide guidance on handling Sharia law implications, structuring asset distribution, and tax planning while ensuring that wills are enforceable in the UAE and other jurisdictions.

3. DIFC Wills and Probate Registry: Al Kabban & Associates can assist clients in registering their wills with the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry, streamlining the process and ensuring recognition and enforceability.

4. Ongoing Legal Support: In addition to drafting and registering wills, Al Kabban & Associates can provide ongoing legal support to help manage any changes in personal circumstances, assets, or legal requirements.


The UAE’s legal jurisdiction and cultural diversity present unique challenges in preparing and executing wills. A comprehensive understanding of the UAE’s legal system, Sharia law implications, and international inheritance laws is crucial to ensure that a will is both valid and enforceable. Drafting a will in the UAE is a vital step in estate planning, and with expert legal support, you can safeguard the financial interests of your loved ones and beneficiaries for generations to come.

At Al Kabban & Associates, we understand that preparing for the future can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to securing the proper distribution of your assets after your demise. That’s why our team of legal consultants is dedicated to providing expert legal counsel to our clients, ensuring that their wills reflect their wishes and comply with both local and global standards. Whether you need assistance with will preparation, registration, or any other aspect of estate planning, our team of legal consultants is here to help you navigate the intricacies of the legal system and secure the proper treatment and distribution of your assets. Let us 

ensure that your wishes are properly reflected in your will. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!


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