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WILL
REGISTRATION
IN DUBAI

A Will is one of the most important documents that people Will come to write in their lives as a way of ensuring they have an estate planning in place and their last wishes are adhered to by their loved ones.

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The Importance of Will Registration in the UAE

A Will is a crucial document in one's life, serving as a key component of estate planning to ensure that one's final wishes are respected and carried out by their loved ones.

In the recent years, the UAE legal framework for expats living and owning assets in the UAE has drastically evolved, allowing non-Muslim expats to register Wills for the devolution of their succession (not subject to Sharia principles) either with the DIFC Wills Service Centre, the Dubai Courts or the Abu Dhabi Civil Court.

Among other advantages, having a registered Will may reduce the stress and potential disputes among your heirs by proving a roadmap on how to handle your affairs while facilitating the devolution of your assets to the beneficiaries that you have named in your Will. Without a registered Will, the probate procedure might be more time-consuming, complex, and stressful for your loved ones, increasing the potential disputes among them.

Furthermore, if you have minor children living with you in the UAE, you should consider including specific guardianship provisions in your Will to avoid any uncertainties and disputes among family members regarding the guardianship question as if there is no Will, Sharia principles could eventually apply.

What is the DIFC legislative framework for Wills?

The DIFC Wills Service is a joint initiative of the Government of Dubai and the DIFC Courts that gives non-Muslim expats investing and living in the UAE the option to pass on their assets as they think fit and/or appoint guardians for their children subject to DIFC rules and regulations. DIFC Wills Service and the DIFC Courts provide a modern and user-friendly system in English for inheritance and probate matters for non-Muslims expats that combines operational speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness with the certainty of judicial enforcement.
The registration of a DIFC Will usually takes place through video conference with the DIFC Wills Service. During the registration process, the testator and two witnesses (who are not named as beneficiaries in the DIFC Will) must attend the online appointment and shall sign digitally the DIFC Will before the officer shall affix the DIFC Wills Service stamp, the digital copy being the original as the DIFC Will Service does not issue hard copies.

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What type of DIFC Wills
might be registered?

Currently, it is possible to register five (5) different types of DIFC Wills:

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    Full DIFC Will

    to cover any and all aspects and assets. (i.e. guardianship, executor appointment, gifts, legacies, burial arrangements, devolution of the residuary estate, etc.)

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    Guardianship DIFC Will

    Limited to guardianship provisions

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    Property DIFC Will

    up to five real estate properties within the UAE

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    Business owners DIFC Will

    up to five shareholdings within the UAE

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    Financial assets DIFC Will

    up to ten bank and/or brokerage accounts registered in the UAE

DIFC mirror Wills are also available in the event you wish to register a Will along with your husband or wife.

What is the Abu Dhabi legislative framework for Wills?

Following the enactment of Abu Dhabi Law No. 14/2021 on the Civil Marriage and Its Effects in 2021, foreign testators may register a civil Will and distribute their assets in the UAE to whoever they see fit (not subject to Sharia principles). There is no different type of Wills and testators have the possibility to register tailored made Wills in English and Arabic with the Abu Dhabi Civil Court covering any and all aspects related to their succession. Currently, the registration takes place via video conferencing and witnesses are not required. Although the Abu Dhabi Civil Court has been recently formed, this option by its simplicity and costs effectiveness is gaining in popularity, the probate process being conducted in English and Arabic.

What are the information typically requested to register a Will?

In view of the preparation of a full DIFC Will (which is the most common type of Will registered) or a Will in Abu Dhabi, the following information is usually requested:

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    1. Testator’s nationality, religion and ID documents

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    2. Family declaration

    (i.e. marital status, children, step-children, etc.)

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    3. List of assets to be covered by the Will.

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    4. Appointment of an executor and a substitute executors in case the first appointment fails, along with their details.

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    5. Information on the beneficiaries and their entitlements under the Will along with their contact details.

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    6. Information on any specific gift or wishes to be included in the Will

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    7. In case of minor children, specific instruction related to guardianship provisions along with the details of the guardian(s).

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  • According to the circumstances of each case, further clarifications may be requested.

Our Steps

  • Step 01
    Provide information and documents to prepare the Will
  • Step 02
    Preparation of the Will and validation of the content with the testator
  • Step 03
    Registration of the Will

Pricing

  • One Will Registration

    AED 6500* (+VAT)
    For DIFC and Abu Dhabi full Will Registration
    Drafting of the Will Legal translation in Arabic (if applicable) Covers distribution of assets in the UAE and abroad Covers appointment of guardians Assistance for the registration of the will, includes acting as a witness (if applicable) To be appointed as executor (if requested) * DIFC and Wills service costs for one Will: AED 10,000
    * Abu Dhabi Court Will service cost for one Will: AED 950
  • Mirror Will Registration

    AED 8500* (+VAT)
    For DIFC and Abu Dhabi full Mirror Will Registration
    Drafting of the Will Legal translation in Arabic (if applicable) Covers distribution of assets in the UAE and abroad Covers appointment of guardians Assistance for the registration of the will, includes acting as a witness (if applicable) To be appointed as executor (if requested) * DIFC and Wills service costs for mirror Will: AED 15,000
    * Abu Dhabi Court Will service cost for mirror Will: AED 1,900

ENTER YOUR DETAILS FOR WILL REGISTRATION

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TIMELINE

  • 01
    Drafting

    1 to 2 working days

  • 02
    Preparation and validation

    3 to 5 working days

  • 03
    Registration

    1 working day According to availability of the Will service selected

FAQs

Generally speaking, a will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after death and can appoint guardians for minor children. A will is important to have, as it allows you to communicate your wishes clearly and precisely.
Yes, non-Muslim expats can register their wills in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE legal system allows expatriates, including non-Muslims, to register wills that are compliant with the laws of their home countries. This is particularly significant because, without a registered will, the distribution of assets in the UAE would typically be subject to Sharia law, which may not align with the personal wishes or the legal traditions of non-Muslim individuals.
Yes, Non-Muslim expats are now free to choose who inherits their assets and the share they can inherit. A UAE “WILL” allows a non-Muslims to bypass the default application of Sharia law to their UAE-based assets in the event of their death and ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. It is important for expatriates to seek legal advice to ensure that their wills are compliant with UAE law and the laws of their home countries, and that they are properly registered with the appropriate UAE legal entity.
Non-Muslim expats living in the UAE can register their wills through the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Wills Service Center. They can also register their will in Abu Dhabi Will Registry for Non-Muslims.
A single will, often simply referred to as a “will,” is a legal document that expresses an individual’s wishes regarding the distribution of their assets and the care of any minor children after their death. This type of will is created by one person and outlines how they want their estate (which includes their money, property, and other belongings) to be handled.
A mirror will refers to a pair of separate but identical wills usually created by spouses or long-term partners. Each will essentially mirrors the other, with each individual leaving their assets to the same beneficiaries, typically to each other initially and then to their children or other named beneficiaries upon the death of the surviving partner. While they are two separate documents, the terms of one will are reflected in the other. Mirror wills are commonly used by couples with shared assets and similar wishes regarding the distribution of their estate. They ensure consistency in the handling of each partner's estate upon their passing.
A beneficiary in the context of a will is a person or entity designated to receive assets or benefits from the estate of the individual who has created the will (known as the testator). The testator specifies in their will who the beneficiaries are and what assets or portion of the estate each beneficiary is entitled to receive. Beneficiaries can include family members, friends, charitable organizations, or other entities. The testator can leave specific assets, a fixed sum of money, a percentage of the estate, or residual assets (what remains after other bequests and obligations have been settled) to each beneficiary. The role of the beneficiary is passive; they do not have responsibilities in the execution of the will but are the recipients of the estate’s distribution as per the testator's wishes.
In a will, a guardian is an individual appointed by the person making the will (the testator) to care for their minor children in the event of the testator’s death. The guardian is responsible for the children's upbringing, including their education, health care, and general welfare. This role is particularly crucial when the other parent is unable or unavailable to take on these responsibilities. The appointment of a guardian in a will ensures that the testator's wishes regarding who should care for their children are known and can be legally recognized, providing peace of mind about the children’s care and future wellbeing.
When appointing a guardian in a will, it’s advisable to choose someone who is trustworthy, shares your values, and has a genuine affection for your children. Consider their age, health, stability, location, and willingness to take on this responsibility. It’s often beneficial to select someone familiar to your children, like a close relative or family friend, to ensure continuity in their upbringing and minimize disruption. Financial capability and parenting style are also important considerations. Always discuss this decision with the potential guardian beforehand to confirm they are willing and able to assume this significant role. It is recommended that at least two (2) alternate guardians are appointed in a will.
An executor in a will is a person appointed by the testator (the person who made the will) to carry out the instructions and distribute the estate as specified in the will, handling legal and financial matters such as paying debts and taxes, and distributing assets to the beneficiaries.
An executor is someone that the testator (the person who made the will) appoints to execute the will. When appointing an executor in a will, it’s crucial to select someone who is not only trustworthy and reliable but also capable of handling administrative, legal, and financial responsibilities. This role often involves managing estate assets, paying off debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries as per the will. Ideal candidates are usually close family members or friends who understand the testator’s wishes and can act impartially. Alternatively, a professional such as a lawyer or a financial advisor can be appointed, especially for complex estates. The chosen individual should be informed and agreeable to taking on this significant responsibility.
Yes, a beneficiary can act as will’s executor. In fact, it is advisable to designate a beneficiary as the executor.
Dubai - DIFC Will Our draftsman will prepare your Will based on your instructions and share the same with you for approval. Once approved, we will schedule an appointment with DIFC WSC for online registration. The registration can be completed over a video call with a DIFC officer. DIFC Will requires the presence of two (2) witnesses along with the testator. Abu Dhabi – ADJD Will Our draftsman will prepare your Will based on your instructions and share the same with you for approval. Once approved, we will translate the draft into Arabic. An appointment for online registration will be scheduled with the ADJD. A signed copy of your Will shall be uploaded on the ADJD’s portal before the video conference call. The testator’s identity will be verified over the call, and the Will is read out. Once the registration process is complete, the registered Will is sent to the email address of the testator.
Yes. A will can be amended unlimited times.
Immovable Properties, cars, cash, jewelry, art pieces, personal items, financial assets, bank accounts, insurance policies, end-of-service benefits, etc.
Yes, anyone who owns assets in the UAE can register a will in the UAE.