Estate planning: Wills
Dying intestate, without a will, is a source of tremendous difficulties (tax, succession, dismantlement of a family business, distribution of estate type of issues…). Establishing a will is the minimum structuring which could be made. It could also mitigate the application of local succession laws (e.g. Sharia law…). The will could be registered abroad or in UAE.
A Will encompassing Dubai assets (bank accounts, jewelry, works of art, cars, investment policies, shares of companies, real estates…) only, located or registered in Dubai, could be registered in the Dubai International Financial Center, a Common Law Jurisdiction based on the UK Estates Act and Probate Rules excluding the Sharia law , Wills and Probate Registry (“WPR”) by Non-Muslim individuals over the age of 21 years UAE resident or not under full testamentary freedom (except some restrictions depending on the testator’s citizenship and/or residency) and covering guardianship matters related to minor children habitually resident in Dubai with the testator.
The execution of the will takes place at the time of registration in the presence of a registry officer and one testator’s witness. The Will shall be electronically stored of the Will as a preventative measure against any possible allegations of forgery and to avoid the risk of tampering, loss and theft.
DIFC Courts adjudicate any contentious probate matters and issue Grants of Probate (legal instrument allowing the executor- family member, lawyer, friend…- to handle the disposal of the deceased’s assets and debts), court and guardianship orders.