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Will Deed & Court Procedure of Inheritance-UAE


Registering Wills in Dubai:

You can register your Will with Dubai International Financial Centre's Wills and Probate Registry which was launched on on May 1, 2015.

Wills and Probate Registry allows non-Muslims to register their wills, which allows them to transfer their assets as they wish upon their death.

Before the new inheritance law enforcements, judges at the court of first instance would apply Sharia to non-Muslims in case of death, since courts didn’t recognise wills from outside the country.

The new law has shortened the time frame needed to settle the distribution of assets and wealth of a deceased expatriate to a few months. It also decreased the amount of money paid to settle the inheritance.

The cost of the registration of a will at the Dubai Court is Dh2,110, not including Arabic translation fees. The DIFC will charge Dh10,000 and 15,000 for two mirror wills for spouses. A will specifically for guardianship costs Dh5,000, and the cost for two mirror wills for two parents is Dh7,500.

What is Will and How to write a Will deed?

A “Will” is a legal declaration of a person’s intention which he desires to be performed after his death. Through “Will” one can transfer his property to any person he likes, i.e. Faithful servant, handicapped children, widowed daughter etc. It avoids confusion about the disposal of property, among the family members after his/her death. A will can be created by any person at any stage of life.

Major Characters of Will
1. A will must be in writing and signed by the testator (except privileged will by soldier/airman engaged in warfare or a mariner being at sea). The signature must be placed in such a way that it shall appear that it was intended to give effect to the instrument as a Will.

2. The Will should be attested by two or more witness in the presence of the testator. The attesting witnesses need not know the contents of the Will. They are only witnesses to the signature or mark of the testator.

3. The attesting witness and his/her spouse must not be beneficiary under the will otherwise the bequest (the act of gifting money or property in a will) in their favour would be invalid. However the validity of other bequests under the will not be affected.

4. It takes effect after the death of the testator.
5. Will is revocable during the life time of the testator.
6. There is no particular form for will by law. The language should be as simple as possible and understandable even by a layman.
7. A Will can be made on plain paper (need not to be on a stamp paper)
8. Registration of Will is not compulsory, though it is desirable

Persons authorized to make a Will
Every person of sound mind, not being a minor can dispose of his property by Will.

The following are fundamentals for making a valid Will:

- Testamentary capacity and sound disposing mind
- Knowledge of contents
- Free from undue influence/fraud/coercion
- Voluntary act

Property that can be disposed by Will

All properties, movable or immovable, of which the testator is owner and which are transferable can be disposed of by a Will. Property which is not legally transferable cannot be bequeathed. It means we cannot write a Will on the property which is legally not transferable.

Who can be a legatee under a Will?
Any person can be a legatee (beneficiary by the will) including a minor or a lunatic. However, a bequest to a person not in existence at the time of testator’s death is void (This happens when the legatee die before testator). A minor can bequeath property through executor/trustees till the time of attaining majority.

Testator - Is the one who has made a legally valid will before death
Legatee - Beneficiary by the will

Indian Laws of Wills & Inheritance
Hindus, Buddhist, Sikh or Jains may execute will as per the section 30 of the Hindu succession Act, 1956.
The law of Will is contained in the part VI of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 and Christians, Parsis, and the Jews are governed by this.
Wills made by the Muslims are governed by the Muhammadan Law which is basically governed by their religious texts. The inheritance laws for Sunnis are different from those of Shias.

NOTE: If you want to use the Will Deed in UAE, it has to be prepared both in Arabic and English and get attested by Notary Public.
If you want to use it only in India, you can do attestation from Indian Consulate.

Do you need more guidance? Mail your queries to visaprocess.ae@gmail.com

Court Procedure of Inheritance

For non-Muslim expatriates who don’t have a will, there is a likelihood that Sharia law or forced rules on inheritors Will apply. The court may also decide on who takes care of the surviving children upon the untimely death of the parent/s. If the expatriate has assets outside the UAE, he could lose a huge proportion of his inheritance to excessive taxes.

If a non-expatriate Muslim in the UAE has assets in the country and abroad, it is advisable to get an international Will or a similar document from their home country.

Muslims can write a Will in which they can give out only one third of their property to non-family members, including charity organisations and the less fortunate.

Q:
I am a Muslim woman; two months ago, my spouse died in Dubai. I have two sons as well as my spouse’s father and mother. My question here is who is the rightful heir of my husband’s legacy and what is the court procedure and duration? Are my spouse’s parents entitled to inherit from the husband’s fortune? Please advise in this regard.

A: The questioner shall ask the Sharia Court to issue a Decree of Distribution, as the questioner shall provide two Muslim witnesses before the court, who are required to be aware of the deceased person and his family members so as to explain to the Sharia Court who the deceased’s relatives are. Therefore, the court will issue a Doctrinal Certificate within two days from the date of application in which it will state the rightful heirs of the deceased. As for the question on the deceased parents’ right of legacy, in accordance with the Islamic Sharia, the deceased’s parents inherit along with the questioner and her two sons (GN).

Plan how your valuable assets and accounts, both online and physical, will be administered when you’re gone.
In order to ensure all your assets, accounts and information are administered according to your wishes, consider the following:

• Do an inventory of all your assets, including your bank accounts, investments, emergency funds, including digital accounts that you’d like to be sorted out before your death.

• Consider writing a will to spell out the disbursement of all your valuable possessions. In the absence of a will, the Shariah Law will determine who gets to keep what upon your death. The UAE is home to a number of will writers and lawyers that can assist you, including financial advisory firms like Holborn Assets. Ensure that the company offering will-related services has the necessary credentials, including a lawyer qualified in family law. “Please don’t try to write your own will simply to save money,” Gregory advises.

• Choose your executor carefully. You may appoint a corporate body (bank/solicitor) or nominate younger people and more than one or two as executors, to ensure they are likely to outlive you and execute your wishes. “Where the executors are corporate bodies, they are likely to outlive us. Where executors are family members or friends, it is conceivable that they might die before we do, so it is advisable to nominate younger people and more than one or two as executors,” advises Gregory.

• Have your will translated into Arabic, attested in your home country and ratified by the UAE embassy in your home country before submission to the UAE court. “Usually, people will not bother to take these actions because they may find different rules apply and translation to other languages if they move country. Often, wills are written but the spouse will obtain translations, among others, following the death,” says Gregory.

• If you have an active life online and maintain important digital accounts such as Ebay or PayPal, which you think your family should have access to when you die, make a list of all the passwords and pass the information to a trusted executor. “Create regular back-ups of all data, both those stored local and those online. Create a detailed document with instructions on how to access all of your digital data and backups. Appoint a designated digital executor to provide any necessary technical support,” advises Paul Hymers, finance director at Atlas Corporate Services.

• It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave the passwords of all your social networking and email accounts to an outsider or executor. You might want to keep some of your digital accounts hidden for eternity. “More and more people have a digital cyber world to take care of and they may wish to have such things deleted immediately after their death. Web-based photo libraries, Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and personal documents may be things that the deceased does not want to be found at all,” observes Gregory. Besides, Hymers says, websites such as Facebook allows accounts to be memorialised or deleted by an immediate family member , while Twitter will remove an account if they receive a death certificate and provide all archived tweets from the user to the executor of the estate. (GN)
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Will Attestation at Indian Consulate

Death Cases - Indian Consulate


 

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