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Safeguarding Your Legacy: A Comprehensive Guide to Drafting Wills in the UAE

Home / Wills / Safeguarding Your Legacy: A Comprehensive Guide to Drafting Wills in the UAE

The drafting of a well-prepared will in the UAE is imperative for guaranteeing the protection and distribution of your assets according to your desires. In a country with a diverse expatriate population and a unique legal landscape, having a comprehensive last will and testament in place is essential for preventing potential disputes and complications among your loved ones. Al Kabban & Associates, with its expertise in crafting precise and tailored wills, can guide you through this crucial process, allowing you to secure your legacy with confidence.

This informative article offers a comprehensive overview of the importance of properly drafted wills in the UAE, shedding light on the legal aspects and requirements specific to the country. Learn about the procedures involved in drafting, registering and executing a will, and understand the intricacies of inheritance laws that govern the distribution of your estate.

Understanding UAE Inheritance Laws: Key Differences and Considerations

The UAE’s inheritance laws are based on the principles of Sharia law, which govern various aspects of personal and family affairs, including inheritance. These laws differentiate greatly from conventional inheritance laws practiced in many Western countries, so comprehending these distinctions is paramount when drafting a will in the UAE.

Sharia law stipulates inheritance distribution rules, defining asset shares among family members, such as parents, spouse(s), and children. In some cases, male relatives may inherit a larger portion than female relatives or vice versa. Non-Muslims in the UAE can request to have their wills executed in accordance with their home country’s inheritance laws, provided they have a legally drafted will in place.

Types of Wills in the UAE: Comprehensive and Mirror Wills

Expatriates who own assets in the UAE have two primary will options: a Comprehensive Will or a Mirror Will. The Comprehensive Will covers all assets – property, finances, and guardianship provisions – for both spouses in a single document. Mirror Wills, on the other hand, are separate documents drawn up for each individual, reflecting similar provisions. It’s important to note that Mirror Wills should address the possibility of both parties passing away, particularly when considering guardianship of children.

Drafting a Will in the UAE: Key Elements and Requirements

To ensure your will is legally valid, meet the following essential requirements when drafting it:

1. Clear identification: The document should clearly state that it is a last will and testament and include your full name, nationality, and Emirates ID number or passport number.

2. Revocation of previous wills: Include a clause stating the revocation of any previous wills to avoid potential conflicts.

3. Appointment of executor(s): Assign an executor or executors to administer your estate upon your demise, specifying their full names and contact details.

4. Details of beneficiaries and their shares: Define your beneficiaries and the specific percentages or amounts of your assets each will receive.

5. Guardianship clauses: If you have children under the age of 18, appoint legally valid guardians to oversee their care and upbringing, addressing issues such as residency and education.

6. Witnesses: To ensure validity, have at least two witnesses, unrelated to the testator, sign the document, attesting to the testator’s identity and mental capacity.

7. Specific bequests: Outline any particular sentimental items or assets that should be given to designated individuals.

8. Residuary estate: Include a residuary clause stating the distribution of remaining assets not explicitly mentioned in the will.

9. Signatures: The testator and witnesses must sign each page of the will with their full names, Emirates ID, or passport numbers.

Registering Your Will: The Process and Where to Register

Once your will is drafted, it must be registered with the appropriate authorities to be legally enforceable in the UAE. Depending on an individual’s assets, situation, and background, registering can be done at a number of registration centres.

1. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Wills and Probate Registry: The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry caters to non-Muslim expatriate residents and investors in Dubai. DIFC registered wills cover all UAE assets, and can be expanded to cover worldwide assets as well.

2. Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department (ADJD) Wills Registry: ADJD Wills Registry facilitates non-Muslim expatriates residing in Abu Dhabi Emirate to register their wills for specific assets and personal affairs.

3. Ras Al Khaimah Courts: For expatriates residing in Ras Al Khaimah, registering a will at RAK Courts ensures the enforceability of the will for assets within the emirate.

4. Other Emirates: For non-Muslim expatriates in other emirates, consult with one of our legal experts to determine the appropriate registration authority and required formalities.

Choosing a Legal Service Provider: Why Al Kabban & Associates Stands Out

Experience, expertise, and local knowledge form the cornerstone of Al Kabban & Associates’ exceptional will-drafting services. The firm works closely with clients to craft legally sound and enforceable wills tailored to their specific needs. By providing personalized and efficient assistance at every stage of the will-drafting process, Al Kabban & Associates ensures clients leave with confidence in the protection of their estate and the well-being of their loved ones.

Estate disputes and litigation can be a complex and emotionally taxing ordeal for families in the event of a loved one’s passing. Al Kabban & Associates’ extensive expertise in local inheritance laws minimizes potential future disputes and guarantees the proper execution of the client’s last will and testament, ensuring your hard-earned assets are distributed as per your wishes.

Securing Your Legacy with Al Kabban & Associates’ Expert Support

In the ever-evolving socio-cultural landscape of the UAE, securing your legacy through a comprehensive and legally enforceable will is of paramount importance. Al Kabban & Associates’ team of experienced attorneys provides meticulous and tailored support throughout the will drafting and registration process, in line with both local and international inheritance laws. With our commitment to stay updated on the latest developments in this complex field, you can confidently entrust your wealth and the future well-being of your loved ones to the skilled hands of Al Kabban & Associates.

Take the first step towards safeguarding your estate and legacy in the UAE today. Schedule a consultation with one of our legal consultants in Dubai and benefit from our exceptional knowledge of drafting and registering wills tailored to meet your unique needs and specifications. Secure your future and achieve peace of mind; contact Al Kabban & Associates today.


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