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UAE Will Registration

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UAE Will Registration

Our expert guide outlines the process, legal requirements, and benefits to ensure your assets & legacy are protected according to your wishes.

Will Registration in Dubai, UAE

When it comes to planning for the future, ensuring your assets and legacy are protected is of utmost importance. Will registration in Dubai, UAE, offers a legal avenue to secure your assets and guarantee that your wishes are respected, providing you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

Register Your Will at Dubai Courts or DIFC Courts

Expats living in Dubai are encouraged to register their wills at Dubai Courts or the DIFC courts, as per the Law No. (15) of 2017 which was designed to regulate inheritance for non-Muslim over 21 years old residents in Dubai, to distribute their movable or immovable assets as per preference.

Registering Your Will in Dubai, UAE

Expats investing, working, and living in Dubai are highly encouraged to write and register their will at the Dubai Courts or the DIFC courts. In case of death with no registered will, the UAE Law of Inheritance will be applied to distribute the deceased person’s assets per the Sharia Law and can also affect the guardianship of their children.

To avoid such a scenario, Law No. (15) of 2017 was designed to regulate inheritance, wills, and probate for non-Muslims in Dubai, stipulating that any non-Muslim person who is over the age of 21, and has children below the age of 21 years or owns assets in Dubai – movable or immovable – needs to make a will.

To ensure that guardianship and assets are secured and distributed according to their wishes, expats may register their will either at the Dubai Courts Public Notary or the DIFC Wills Service Center. The process can be completed individually or through legal consultancy agencies.

Will Registration with Dubai Courts

While registering a will with the Dubai Courts, all submitted documents need to be translated into Arabic by authorized legal translating centers that are registered with the Courts and Ministry of Justice. A will registered in Dubai Courts can cover assets and estates across the entire country and is applicable in all seven emirates during the execution of the will.

DIFC Wills & Probate Registry | DIFC Courts

The DIFC Courts Wills Service Center was established by Resolution No. 4 of 2014 issued by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The Will Service caters exclusively to non-Muslims in Dubai and offers services related to full will, property will, financial assets will, business owners will, and guardianship will.

Registering the will can be completed with English documentation and does not require Arabic translation.

Questions? You’re covered.

The cost of registering a will in Dubai can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the estate, the legal services chosen, and the specific requirements of the testator. Generally, the cost may involve legal fees for drafting the will, notarization, and registration fees with the relevant authorities. Legal fees can vary based on the expertise and reputation of the law firm or professional handling the process. It's advisable to consult with us as we are one of the best law firms in Dubai, who are qualified legal professionals in Dubai to get a personalized estimate based on your specific needs and circumstances. Additionally, it's important to consider any potential future amendments to the will, as these may incur additional fees. Overall, the cost of registering a will in Dubai is an investment in ensuring the smooth and legally sound distribution of assets according to your wishes.

While it is technically possible to register a will in Dubai without legal assistance, it is highly advisable to seek professional guidance to ensure the process adheres to the specific legal requirements of the emirate. The legal system in Dubai can be complex, and will registration involves compliance with local laws, including adherence to Sharia principles. Consulting with a qualified lawyer ensures that your will is correctly drafted, properly witnessed, and registered following the applicable regulations. Legal assistance can help you navigate potential challenges, address specific concerns related to your assets, and provide a thorough understanding of the implications of your decisions. Given the importance of a will in safeguarding your legacy and assets, engaging a legal professional in Dubai is recommended to ensure the validity and enforceability of your wishes.

The duration of the will registration process in Dubai can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of the estate, the responsiveness of involved parties, and the efficiency of the legal professionals handling the case. Generally, the process may take several weeks to a few months. Initial steps involve consultations with a lawyer to draft the will, gather necessary documentation, and identify witnesses. After the document is prepared, it needs to be properly executed and notarized. Subsequently, the will is submitted for registration with the Dubai Courts or the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Wills Service Centre, depending on the jurisdiction. The time taken for official processing and approval can contribute to the overall timeline. It's essential to consult with a legal professional to get a more accurate estimate based on your specific circumstances and to ensure a timely and thorough registration process.

If you pass away without registering a will in Dubai, your estate will be subject to the rules of intestacy as per the local legal system, which is largely influenced by Sharia law. In the absence of a registered will, the distribution of your assets will follow the predetermined inheritance rules, specifying how your estate should be divided among your legal heirs. These rules may not align with your personal preferences or the needs of your family members, particularly if you have specific wishes regarding asset distribution.

By not having a registered will, you relinquish control over the disposition of your estate and may leave your loved ones with a more complicated and time-consuming process of sorting out the inheritance. Registering a will in Dubai allows you to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, providing clarity and potentially avoiding family disputes or complications during the probate process. To safeguard your legacy and ensure that your assets are handled according to your intentions, it is strongly recommended to seek legal advice and register a will in Dubai.


In the UAE, there are primarily two types of wills that individuals can consider based on their residency and personal circumstances:

Local Will (Onshore Will):

This type of will is typically drafted for individuals who are non-Muslim and are considered residents of the UAE. It is governed by the UAE Civil Law and can cover assets located within the country. Non-Muslims may use a local will to specify the distribution of their assets following their wishes, deviating from the default application of Sharia law.

DIFC Will (Offshore Will):

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Wills and Probate Registry allows non-Muslims, including expatriates and investors, to create a will that adheres to the laws of their home country or any other legal system they choose. This type of will applies specifically to assets located within the DIFC jurisdiction. The DIFC will allow individuals to opt out of the application of Sharia law on matters of inheritance, providing more flexibility in estate planning.

It's crucial for individuals to carefully consider their residency status, the location of their assets, and their personal preferences when deciding on the type of will to create in the UAE. Seeking professional legal advice can help ensure that the chosen will align with the individual's objectives and comply with the relevant laws and regulations.

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