Drafting a Will is a vital instrument to ensure that your assets are legally secured to be passed on to your loved ones. A Will works as a legal document declaring your intentions and directs the distribution of your assets, on death.
As per recent statistics in the GCC 2 out of 3 people do not draft a WILL, this is the reason that each year millions of dollars are frozen in banks and unclaimed since the owner of the estate is dead and because there is no WILL in place for any of the deceased’s kin to take authority over the property.
It is important to seek the advice of a trusted Family Lawyer and Estate Practitioner especially in light of UAE being an Islamic Country which follows in principle Sharia Law. This can be a complex and confusing hurdle for a NON- MUSLIM Expatriate. Our ProConsult family lawyers have in-depth knowledge of UAE succession laws and the Private Law of many international jurisdictions enabling us to provide the most client- specific Will drafting services.
It is Advisable to have a WILL drafted in the UAE for Expat Residents
The problem arises in terms of the distribution of property should an Expat die without a WILL in place. At this juncture in time, if an expat dies without a WILL in place, the expat’s estate in question shall be distributed by the UAE courts as per the Local Laws, which may not be in accordance with the last wishes of the deceased.
Assets can include real estate, bank balance, jewelry, company shares and bonds, vehicles, personal belonging. These can be bequeathed to the desired person either in parts or as a whole.
What happens to the assets when there is no WILL in place in the UAE/GCC?
All bank accounts are frozen immediately.
The property shall be distributed according to Local Law, which might not be what the owner intended.
The family may not necessarily inherit or have access to all the assets.
All dependents’ visas will be canceled including children.
All legal proceedings can be extensively delayed.
Benefits of drafting a WILL in the UAE.
Distribution of your Assets as per your wishes.
A well-drafted WILL acts as an easy mechanism for execution to take place in the UAE Courts.
All Investments will pass on to the desired person.
Eliminate any room for bank accounts or property being endlessly frozen.
Appointing the desired executors.
Appointing the desired temporary & permeant guardian for your children.
Enforcement of the Will
The Owner of the property can nominate any person of his choice either be it the spouse, or immediate family member which can also include children or siblings who have attained the age of 21 years as the executor of the will.