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Recent rules on Registering a Will in DIFC

The DIFC Courts have established the DIFC Courts Wills Registry for Non-Muslims, that allow non-Muslims residents and non-residents the option to register their Will with the DIFC to acquire a recognized Will in the UAE. The Will can include the details for distribution of assets and contain guardianship provisions for the minor children of the testator.

Recent amendments to the rules for registration in DIFC

The DIFC initially restricted the coverage of assets to those located in Dubai and Ras al Khaimah. The new rule seeks to allow all the non-Muslims to register a Will in the UAE. The recent rule for registration of Wills, explains that an individual can include all the assets they own, irrespective of the region. This rule allows non-Muslims to register a will with the distribution of all assets that are situated in the UAE as well as in any other country. This is beneficial for individuals, as it prevents them from preparing different wills covering various assets around the world. This rule also aims to increase the number of wills being prepared in the UAE by accommodating all residents and non-residents that acquire assets across the region.

Along with the recent change in the rule, the DIFC Courts allow the existing registered Wills to be amended as per the new rule, to include assets all across the world. The DIFC offers the amendment to the registered Wills free of charge until 31st of August 2019.

More guidelines for registering a Will in DIFC

  • A non-Muslim resident or non-resident can register a Will with the DIFC Courts.
  • The testator must be above 21 years of age
  • A Will registered with the DIFC can cover the following assets:
  • All moveable and immoveable assets situated in the UAE
  • The Will may also cover moveable and immoveable assets located in any other country.
  • A testator can select from several types of Wills to register, such as Full Will, Guardianship Will, Property Will, Business Owners Will, and Financial Assets Will. A testator may prepare a suitable type of Will according to his requirements.
  • After the preparation of the Will, an application for registration must be submitted along with other documents required such as passport and Emirates ID for verification and the witness statements. It is advisable to approach a lawyer in Dubai for the preparation and registration of a will in the DIFC.

Types of Wills for registration in the DIFC

  1. Full Will

The full Will may include all movable and immovable assets across the UAE and other countries along with guardianship provisions for the minor children. The Will may be signed in the presence of two witnesses.

The DIFC fees for a full Will start from AED 10,000 for a single Will, and AED 15,000 for a mirror Will

  1. Guardianship Will

The guardianship Will seeks to cover the required guardianship provisions for minor children below 21 years of age. A guardianship Will also requires two witnesses to be present during the signing of the Will.

The DIFC fees for a guardianship Will start from AED 5,000 for a single Will, and AED 7,500 for a mirror Will.

  1. Property Will

The property Will can cover shares of the testator in up to five (5) real estate properties. A property Will may also require two witnesses to be present during the signing of the Will.

The DIFC fees for a single Will is AED 7,500, and AED 10,000 for a mirror Will.

  1. Business Owners Will

The business owners Will cover shares of the testator in up to five (5) different companies. A business owners Will may also require the presence of two witnesses at the DIFC Wills Service during the registration of the Will.

DIFC fees for a single Will are AED 5,000 and AED 7,500 for a mirror Will.

  1. Financial Assets Will

The financial assets Will cover shares of the testator in up to 10 different bank accounts. A financial assets Will registration may require two witnesses to be present during the signing of the Will at the DIFC Wills Service.

The DIFC fees for registration of a single Will is AED 5,000 and AED 7,500 for a mirror Will.

Will and Testament Lawyers in Dubai

The recent amendments to the DIFC rules for Will registration make it essential for a testator to approach a lawyer for the preparation of a will and the registration process. HHS Lawyers provides various Will and Testament services such as preparation of a Will according to the governing rules, registration of the Will, and acquiring a probate order for the execution of the Will in UAE.

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