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| 18 October, 2017

Wills registry office for non-Muslims opens in UAE capital

Image used for illustrative purposes. UAE Law Concept - Flag of the United Arab Emirates Behind Judge's Gavel

Image used for illustrative purposes. UAE Law Concept - Flag of the United Arab Emirates Behind Judge's Gavel

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Abu Dhabi Judicial Department’s special unit to plug gaps in legal system

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

The wills come for as little as Dh500 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.

Welcome step

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 specialising 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.

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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 Dh2,150 while one at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts could set you back by Dh10,500. But here it’s just Dh500,” 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 authorised 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 notarised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

How to make a will in Abu Dhabi:

Documents required

1. Emirates ID, original ?and photocopy
2. Passport, original ?and photocopy
3. Three copies of will
4. Original property documents

Procedure

1. Submit documents online
2. Pay fee online
3. Fix appoinment
4. Appear before court with all documents

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