Types of UAE Wills
There are two (2) types of Wills that can be written by the non-Muslims having assets or residing in the UAE:
1. Notary Public Wills
These wills are written in English and Arabic languages (bilingual format) and registered with a Notary Public in the Emirate where the testator resides or has assets.
However, the Sharia Law may be applied by the Courts (except in Abu Dhabi) to the distribution of immovable assets (real estate) of the testator.
The Government of Abu Dhabi has issued a decree in May 2016 to confirm that the Sharia Law will not apply to the immoveable assets (real estate) of non-Muslims if they leave a Will duly registered in Abu Dhabi.
2. DIFC Wills & Probate Registry Wills
No-Muslims in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah have the option to register their Wills with the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry. These Wills are prepared and registered pursuant to the DIFC WPR Rules which are based on the principles common law. The main benefits of registration of DIFC Wills are:
- Moveable as well as immoveable assets (including real estate) can be distributed as per your wishes – which may not be possible through a Will registered with Notary Public.
- The DIFC WPR Rules provide answers to all types of situations in relation to drafting and probate of Wills.
- It is much quicker to obtain a probate order pursuant to a Will registered with the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry.
All resident and non-resident non-Muslims over 21 years of age are eligible to register Wills with the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry.