Dubai, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, attracts many British ex-pats and non-Muslim residents who choose to make the UAE their home. When it comes to estate planning and protecting their assets, it is essential for British ex-pats and non-Muslims to understand the specific regulations governing wills in Dubai. In this article, we explore the importance of Dubai wills for expats and how they can ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes.
Understanding Sharia law:
In Dubai and the rest of the UAE, Islamic Sharia law governs inheritance matters for Muslim individuals. However, for non-Muslims, including British expats, Sharia law does not automatically apply to their estate distribution. This distinction is crucial to understand when considering estate planning options.
Importance of a Dubai will:
To ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and in compliance with your home country’s laws, it is advisable to create a Dubai will. A Dubai will is a legal document allowing non-Muslims and British expats to specify how their assets should be distributed upon passing. It provides clarity and avoids potential conflicts among family members.
Professional legal assistance:
Creating a Dubai will require professional legal assistance to ensure it is legally valid and enforceable. Engaging the services of a lawyer who specializes in wills and estate planning in Dubai is crucial. They can guide you through the process, explain the legal requirements, and ensure that your will adheres to local regulations and your home country’s laws.
Validity and execution:
To be considered legally valid, a Dubai will be in writing, signed by the testator (the person making the will), and witnessed by two adults who are not beneficiaries. These witnesses must also sign the document. Additionally, the will should be registered with the Dubai Courts to provide an official record and further validate its authenticity.
Appointing an executor:
In your Dubai will, you can appoint an executor responsible for administering your estate and ensuring your wishes are fulfilled. The executor should be someone trustworthy and capable of handling your estate’s legal and financial aspects.
Regular review and update:
It is essential to review and update your Dubai regularly will to reflect any changes in your personal circumstances or asset distribution preferences. Major life events such as marriage, divorce, births, deaths, or acquiring new assets may necessitate revisions to your will. Keeping it up to date ensures that your wishes remain current and accurate.