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UAE Will Registration for Expats in Dubai

Understanding Inheritance in the UAE: The Importance of Having a Registered Will

UAE Will Registration

When it comes to legal services in Dubai and preparing for the inevitable future, one matter that often goes unnoticed among expatriates in the UAE is the need for a registered will. This oversight can have significant consequences on one’s assets, especially if they are left behind without clear legal directives. The UAE is a vibrant tapestry of cultures and religions. With a significant expatriate community, the nation’s inheritance laws take center stage when discussing the distribution of assets upon one’s passing.

‍The Current State of Inheritance Laws in the UAE

To truly appreciate the implications of not having a registered will, it’s essential to understand the legal framework surrounding inheritance. At present, the primary source of inheritance legislation in the UAE stems from Sharia Law. This ancient law has been integrated and codified into various UAE legislative codes, notably the UAE Personal Status Law 2005 and the UAE Civil Code 1985. Sharia law has been consistently applied to assets located in the UAE when the owner dies without a will.

For context, both Muslims and non-Muslims have, until now, been subjected to the same inheritance protocol for assets in the UAE. The inheritance landscape is set to evolve soon, aiming to be inclusive to all UAE residents, irrespective of their religious beliefs. This upcoming change holds significance for non-Muslim expats, who previously might have faced uncertainty surrounding their assets.

‍Inheritance Distribution: How it Works Now

To shed light on the current inheritance process, consider a scenario where the deceased has left assets worth AED 1,000,000:

The surviving spouse, either husband or wife, would receive one-eighth (AED 125,000) of this sum.

Of the remaining AED 875,000:

  •  If there are three sons, considering they inherit twice as much as daughters, the sons’ combined shares would be six.
  •  Daughters would get two shares.
  •  This results in eight total shares.
  •  Each share is worth AED 109,375.
  • Therefore, each daughter receives AED 109,375, while each son would get double, totaling AED 218,750.

These laws apply not just to monetary assets but are also indicative of how other assets like land, gold, and silver inheritance would be divided.

Looking Forward: A New Dawn for Non-Muslim Expatriates

Things are about to change. From 1 February 2023, if a non-Muslim dies intestate in the UAE, the distribution process is simpler:

  • The surviving spouse gets half of the deceased’s assets.
  • The remaining half is equally divided among all children, regardless of gender.

This transformation, as per Federal Decree-Law No. 41/2022 of 03 October 2022, makes no distinction between various types of assets. Hence, funds in the deceased’s bank account will be divided similarly to real estate assets.

For jointly held UAE bank accounts, the surviving joint account holder(s) must notify the bank within ten days of the death. After notification, the bank freezes the account until successors are appointed. The distribution among heirs for joint accounts would then be determined by a competent UAE court.

‍Will in Dubai: Why Seek Legal Help?

While the upcoming changes simplify the process for non-Muslims, the landscape can still be daunting. Securing legal advice is paramount. By doing so, you ensure that your assets are appropriately distributed, offering peace of mind to your loved ones during trying times.

For those with assets in the UAE, having a registered will can mitigate potential disputes and uncertainties. Understanding these laws and the impending changes underlines the importance of this legal document.

‍Act Now, Be Prepared

As we’ve seen, the UAE’s inheritance laws are undergoing a significant shift. For non-Muslim expatriates, this is a game-changer. But regardless of these changes, one truth remains – having a registered will is crucial. If you are unsure about the process or need legal help in setting up your will, seek expert legal services from one of the best law firms in Dubai UAE.

Reach out to LawBridge today for a legal consultation, and ensure that your assets are in safe hands.

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