• Should husband and wife have separate wills in Dubai?

    15 Nov 2023

    As Dorothy Sayers says, “There is something about wills which brings out the worst side of human nature. People who under ordinary circumstances are perfectly upright and amiable, go as curly as corkscrews and foam at the mouth, whenever they hear the words 'I devise and bequeath.”

    When faced with the challenging decision of creating a will, couples usually grapple with the choice between two separate wills, or mirror wills. While both methods are legally valid and binding, opting for separate wills often proves to be a smoother and more practical route. We will explore here below the reasons why separate wills tend to be the preferred choice in most situations.

    Mirror wills for married couple are two (2) separate wills with identical or very similar content offering certain advantages and disadvantages in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). On the positive side, they streamline estate planning, ensuring that assets are bequeathed as intended, while having provisions aligned for the guardianship of minor children. This is particularly beneficial for expatriates seeking consistency with their home-country wills. However, mirror wills can also pose limitations. They lack flexibility, potentially causing complications in complex family situations, notably in the case of disagreements between the spouses regarding the distribution of their estate. Additionally, changes may require revising both wills. Before opting for mirror wills in DIFC, individuals should carefully weigh these pros and cons to align their estate planning with their specific needs and circumstances.

    On the other hand, opting for an single will in the DIFC will often prove to be a more advantageous choice than  mirror wills. Single wills offer unparalleled flexibility, allowing each spouse to tailor their estate planning to their unique circumstances. This is particularly beneficial in complex family situations or when assets differ significantly. Individual wills also grant more independence, permitting changes without affecting the other spouse's arrangements. In the DIFC, where expatriates often have diverse financial scenarios, single wills provide the precision and adaptability needed to ensure that one's legacy aligns perfectly with their intentions.

    In the realm of estate planning in DIFC, the choice between mirror wills and single wills ultimately depends on one's unique circumstances and objectives. While mirror wills offer simplicity and uniformity, single wills provide the flexibility and precision needed to navigate complex financial landscapes. It's imperative for individuals to carefully consider their specific needs and consult with legal experts to make an informed decision that best safeguards their legacy and honors their intentions. Our team at Kanoony will help you decide whether opting for unity or diversity in your estate planning and find a solution that ensures your wishes are upheld and your loved ones are protected.