In 2015 the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center) launched its Wills and Probate Registry. There is still an uncertainty if someone actually should make one. In this article Freemont provides an assessment of this registry by answering the most common questions by expatriates.
Who should make Wills and Probate Registry?
Non- Muslim expatriates holding property, bank accounts in Dubai.
Non-Muslim expatriates who have not made a will, Sharia Law applies in first instance to their UAE assets and also regulates guardianship for minors. For those who would like to deviate from these rules registering a DIFC will is a solution.
How many wills have been registered?
According to the DIFC, there have been more than 650 wills, including 55% of expatriates from Europe and 27% form India, and remaining 18% from Africa, Asia, and the Americans. Also people are registering their will, with youngest 22 years old. The average age 22-35 years old.
Can a Muslim expatriate make a will?
No, they can not make a will, as Sharia Law automatically applies to them.
Is Will and Probate Registry valid in other countries?
No, a will can be used only in relation to assets located in Dubai, eg. shares in Dubai mainland or freezone companies, bank accounts, and real estate. Both residents and non-Dubai residents can register a will with DIFC.
Freemont can draft a will and register it. For our full analysis of the new law refer to our earlier article here: DIFC Dubai Wills and Probate Registy.