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Obtaining probate for a will in the Abu Dhabi Courts

Probate is a legal process that takes place after the death of a testator to determine the distribution of estate and funds to assess its authenticity. If the testator dies, the appointed executor handles the distribution of the estate and settlement of the debts by obtaining probate that authorizes him to conduct the assigned activities. As per the law, only registered wills are eligible to obtain a probate order from the Abu Dhabi Courts.

 Probate for a Muslim Will in the Abu Dhabi Courts

  • The probate order granted for a Muslim will in the Abu Dhabi Courts are governed by the Sharia law.
  • According to the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, the 1/3 of an estate shall be kept aside for charitable causes and other expenses, and the remaining 2/3 of an estate can be distributed among the legal heirs and beneficiaries.
  • In accordance with Article 243 of the Federal Law (28) of 2005 on Personal Status, the will may be enforceable after the settlement of all debts. If the debts are beyond the 1/3 share kept aside by the testator, then the executor shall pay off the debts using the assets given to the beneficiary with the majority of the shares
  • A testator can add a probate provision specifying the details of the executor to be appointed during the probate process.
  • Few conditions required by the Abu Dhabi Courts to probate a will are:
  • The attested applicant must be present before the Probate office along with two Muslim witnesses
  • The required documents should be presented before the probate office, such as the original will subject for probate, the Passport, and Emirates ID, to name a few.
  • It is advisable for an executor to appoint a lawyer in UAE to organize the required documents and simplify the probate procedure.

Probate for a Non-Muslim Will in the Abu Dhabi Courts

  • The probate service offered by the Abu Dhabi Courts allows a non-Muslim testator to distribute the inheritance of heirs or beneficiaries following death.
  • The executor can submit the application for probate of a will along with the government fees. The government fees are AED 950 for probate to a non-Muslim will.
  • The applicant or appointed executor may approach the non-Muslims Wills and Probate office on the set date to submit the required documents and receive the probated will.
  • If the applicant is a representative of the executor, then a valid Power of Attorney (PoA) must be submitted. However, this PoA should be specifically for making wills and for adherence to the will conditions.
  • All the documents must be submitted in the Arabic language. If any document is not in the regional language, the executor must get the documents translated by an appointed translator in the UAE. These documents need to be attested by the Ministry of Justice.
  • If any document is issued outside the UAE, it should be authenticated by the concerned authorities.
  • Verification documents must also be submitted to the Non-Muslim wills and probates office (Passport and Emirates ID). The registry may require further documents to be submitted depending on the case.
  • The original will to be probated, along with copies, must be submitted to the Probates office for recording purposes.
  • The registry can also ask for a proof of ownership of the estate to be submitted for verification purposes.
  • It is beneficial to approach a law firm in UAE for more tailored advice in relation to the probate of Non-Muslim wills. 

Benefits of seeking counsel for the Probate Process

  • Resolves the family disputes that may arise during the probate process
  • Helps to avoid unnecessary delays and seeks to achieve quick results in obtaining a Probate order for the testator’s will.
  • Assists in mediating between any claims brought against the estate and funds of a testator during the probate process.
  • Provides clarity with respect to the Debts and Expenses owed by the testator that are required to be paid off as per the law.
  • Supports the appointed executor during the probate procedure.

Wills and Probate Lawyers in UAE

Acquiring probate in UAE can often be considered a difficult task for the general public. HHS Lawyers provides support throughout the probate process by offering various services such as calculation of the debt and dispute resolution in the UAE. The firm has an efficient team of lawyers that seek to offer legal advice to simplify the probate procedure.

M. Al Khairy, LL.B. is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Al Khairy also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators. Read more