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
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
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.
The right of survivorship, where assets are passed on to
the surviving joint owner upon the death of the other, does not apply
in the UAE. For Muslims, the court will automatically apply Sharia and
distribute assets to predetermined beneficiaries.
For non-Muslims, options are available should they prefer to
specifically itemise to whom their assets in the UAE should go to when
they pass away.
DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (DIFC WPR) covers assets in
Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.
Any non-Muslim expatriate over the age of 21 and has
something valuable in the UAE to pass on can choose to write a will.
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
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
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
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
• 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
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
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
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,”
• 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,”
• 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)
to convert to Islam in UAE?
Affidavit to apply passport for children in India
Affidavit to Sponsor Dependants
Change of Address
Change of spouse in Passport
Correction of Date of Birth
Date of Birth
related documents required to repatriate body to India or to cremate
Documents required for bringing Servant
Employment contract for unskilled labour sponsored by a company
Housemaid 'No Relationship' Affidavit
Indian Driving License attestation
Sponsored by an Expatriate
Marriage Attestation from Consulate
Marriage Solemnization at Indian Consulate
Newborn baby's Passport
Passport for newborn baby
Passport in lieu of lost
Passport in Maiden name
Passport in Married name
Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)
Power of Attorney
Protector of Emigrants
Refund of Security Deposit - Housemaid
Salary Certificate Attestation
Spouse name Endorsement
Surrender of Indian Passport
Visa on Arrival in India
Undertaking for Studies
Visa on Arrival in India
Visit Affidavit for Family Member
Wages of Indian Workers