Abu Dhabi Starts Registering Inheritance Wills for Non-Muslim Expats

Published October 18th, 2017 - 02:33 GMT
In the absence of a will, the distribution of assets of a non-Muslim deceased is guided by Sharia (Shutterstock/File)
In the absence of a will, the distribution of assets of a non-Muslim deceased is guided by Sharia (Shutterstock/File)

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department has started registering inheritance wills for non-Muslim expats in the Capital.

The wills come for as little as 500 dirhams ($136) and can be made at the Non-Muslims Wills Office, a special unit set up in the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department to look into inheritance matters.

Mohammad Marria of will writing company Just Wills said the move will help Abu Dhabi residents secure their assets and investments in the Emirate.

“Earlier, we didn’t have a proper mechanism for the registration of wills. But now we have a system in place,” he said.

Devanand Mahadeva, a UAE-based lawyer specializing in family and inheritance law, said the move will provide certainty to Abu Dhabi-based non-Muslims in passing their estate to their chosen heirs without the need for their executors to be involved in complex, often costly and uncertain proceedings in courts.

 

 

In the absence of a will, the distribution of assets of a non-Muslim deceased is guided by Sharia. Mahadeva said the low costs of making a will at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department might encourage many to go for the legal document.

“A will at Dubai Courts costs 2,150 dirhams ($585) while one at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts could set you back by 10,500 dirhams ($2858). But here it’s just 500 dirhams (136),” he said.

The person making the will should be a resident of the UAE and at least 21 years old. You have to appear before the court to make the will. Under special conditions, an authorized representative can act on your behalf with attested special power of attorney. The will should be translated in both English and Arabic. For Arabic, it must be translated by a legal translator registered with the Ministry of Justice. If the documents are outside the UAE you will have to get them notarized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

 


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