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5 reasons for registering a Will with DIFC Courts Wills Service

DIFC Courts Wills Service (formerly known as DIFC Wills Service Centre) has been set-up to provide much needed clarity and certainty to the non-Muslim community owning assets in the United Arab Emirates and who wish to avoid the application of Sharia law and transfer their assets according to their own wishes upon their death.

Here are the five (5) main reasons explaining why the non-Muslims should register their Wills with the DIFC Courts Wills Service:

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1. Transfer your assets as you wish

DIFC Courts Wills Service gives non-Muslim individuals with assets in tthe United Arab Emirates the ability to register their Wills in English language. This was not previously possible anywhere in the UAE. So, if you are a non-Muslim, you can pass on your UAE based moveable and immovable assets of any form precisely according to your own wishes through a Will registeration process with DIFC Courts Wills Service. You can also appoint guardians for your children under the age of 21 years according to your wishes.

2. Available for residents and non-residents

DIFC Courts Wills Service’s will registration service is available for residents as well as non-residents. So, it does not matter whether you reside inside or outside the UAE before or after the registration of your Will. You can have your DIFC Will drafted and registered with the DIFC Courts Wills Service so long as you meet the following criteria:

(a) You are a non-Muslim;
(b) You are over 21 years of age; and
(c) You own moveable or immoveable assets in the United Arab Emirates or have children under 21 years of age living in Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah.

3. Simple signing process

Registering a Will requires the testator to visit the offices of DIFC Courts Wills Service located at Dubai International Financial Centre and sign the Will formally in the presence of an officer of the Wills Service. The officer of the Wills Service witnesses the signing of the Will. The testator is also required to bring along one (1) additional witness with him/her. This process significantly reduces the possibility of claims challenging the validity of the Will at the probate stage.

4. Clear legal mechanism

The DIFC WPR Rules are based on the common law principles and legislation of other leading common law jurisdictions such as the UK, Singapore and Malaysia. The individuals from western jurisdictions, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia are familiar with these well-established principles and feel more comfortable dealing with the same.

5. Short probate process

For all the Wills registered with the DIFC Courts Wills Service, DIFC Court is responsible for issuing probate grants and court orders for the distribution of estate as well as guardianship orders in accordance with the wishes set out in the Wills. An important feature of the probate process for DIFC Wills is that the executors can directly file the application for grant of probate without the involvement of lawyers. The probate process is simple and it is anticipated that this process in standard probate matters should take no more than one (1) month – which is significantly shorter than any other court processes in the UAE.

The above simple mechanism of registration of Wills is not available elsewhere in the UAE.

Hence, if you are a non-Muslim over 21 years of age having assets in the United Arab Emirates and do not wish the Sharia Law to apply to the distribution of your assets and guardianship issues relating to your minor children, you would be required to prepare and register your Will with the DIFC Courts Wills Service.

Find the details of the costs involved in preparing and registering your Will with the DIFC Courts Wills Service and view Sample of the DIFC Will Order your DIFC Wills today.

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