Dubai International Financial Centre Wills Service Centre (WSC) Wills

At Charterhouse Lombard we have extensive experience helping clients process their wills. Contact us today if you’re thinking of gaining a will through the DIFC WSC.

“The DIFC Wills Service Centre (“WSC”) is a joint initiative of the Government of Dubai and the DIFC Dispute Resolution Authority that gives non-Muslims investing and living in the United Arab Emirates (“the UAE”) the option to pass on their assets and/or appoint guardians for their children, in accordance with the instructions in their Will.

The WSC provides administrative support to the DIFC Courts Wills Registry for Non-Muslims where the register of WSC Wills is held and where all probate matters and probate claims are handled.

Eligible individuals can achieve certainty through registering a Will at the Registry and having this enforced via the DIFC Courts. In the absence of a WSC Will your assets would be distributed to specific family members in accordance with local laws.

Overview

Clients should be made aware, that assets, held locally in the UAE, be they company shares, cash in local bank accounts (both corporate and personal), or investments are subject to local Sharia Law inheritance rules, which means that in the event of death, any UAE Assets would be distributed in accordance with Sharia principals and not necessarily in accordance with your particular wishes.  The further downside is that your executors would have to make an application to the Dubai Courts, which will involve instructing local Advocates, who typically request a minimum of AED50,000 in fees, up front, to start any application for probate.

The registration of a WSC Will removes this uncertainty and will ensure that property / assets held here in the UAE will be passed on in accordance with your wishes and removes potential headaches for executors, who may not even reside in the UAE. A WSC can also cover any other assets held worldwide (subject to the jurisdiction in which those other assets are situate accepting the WSC Will) but we advise clients to limit their WSC Wills to local assets and NOT other worldwide assets. It is better to have a will in each jurisdiction in which assets are held.

The WSC affords clients the option of preparing their own Will or utilising the services of a specialist Wills draftsman who is qualified and registered with the WSC.  To this end, Charterhouse Lombard Limited have partnered with a British legal firm, who have been based here for the past thirteen years, to assist our clients in preparing their local Will. 

There are currently five different types of WSC Will, namely Guardianship Will, Property Will, Business Owner’s Will and Financial Assets Will OR a Full Will which covers all of the above.  Given that the majority of our clients are likely to have company shares and financial assets, it is recommended that the Full Will option is taken, as this ultimately will work out to be more cost effective, than lodging separate Business Owners and Financial Assets Wills.

How Can Charterhouse Lombard Help?

Charterhouse Lombard will send you a detailed questionnaire, which will need to be completed and returned please.  The information will be used to prepare the initial draft of the Will – this will be sent to you for comment and amendments will be made where applicable.  Once all parties are happy with the completed Will, we can then discuss dates of when you anticipate next being in Dubai or are available to meet should you reside here.  At this juncture, we will arrange a meeting at the WSC for you to sign and register the Will.  Two representatives of Charterhouse will accompany you and act as the two required witnesses at the signing, if you prefer to bring one of the two required witness’s – who could be a trusted family friend or colleague, this is also fine. Once the Will has been registered, you will be given copies of the completed Will for your records.

If you’re interested in protecting your UAE assets, we can assist you with the process of obtaining a will through the DIFC Wills Service Centre.  Please get in touch with us today.