Wills are available in Dubai to all residents, even those who are non-Muslim. This important legal document ensures that, in the event of your death, your assets are passed on according to your wishes, and your children are looked after by the right people.
The DIFC Wills Service Centre (WSC) handles Wills for non-Muslim residents. Once you’ve registered your WSC Will, you can be sure that your assets will be distributed in accordance with your instructions. This makes the whole process far more straightforward.
There are five types of WSC Will available in Dubai. Here’s an overview of each of them.
The five types of WSC Will in Dubai
If you’re a parent, it’s likely that your top priority will be the security and wellbeing of your children. As such, it’s important that they’re appropriately looked after in the event of your death.
The Guardianship Will focuses solely on appointing guardians for your children. It doesn’t cover any distribution of assets (if you want to include this, a Full Will is the better option). Instead, it’s designed to ensure that your children are placed in the care of their nominated guardians.
If you pass away, the DIFC courts can issue either (or both) ‘Interim Guardianship Orders’ and ‘Permanent Guardianship Orders’. These orders will be given in accordance with what’s stipulated in your Guardianship Will. It’s a relatively smooth process – issues only arise in instances where the appointment of guardians contradicts UAE law.
An interim guardian is a person appointed to care for your children until the permanent guardians are able to do so. It’s recommended that you nominate both interim and permanent guardians in your Will.
Your property is likely to be one of your most valuable assets, and as such, you’ll want to make sure that it’s left to the right people in the event of your death. The Property Will relates solely to real estate, and can include up to five properties (or a share in up to five) located in the UAE.
In order to apply for a Property Will, you’ll need to provide certain pre-registration documents.
Business Owner’s Will
If you’ve set up a business in the UAE, you might have concerns about what will happen to it if you pass away. The Business Owner’s Will is designed to protect your business and its assets, and to make sure that they are passed on to the right people.
It covers up to five distinct shareholdings in the UAE. Please note that the businesses must be either onshore or situated in a free zone. Offshore companies are not eligible. Also, the business must have been set up in accordance with the UAE’s Federal Law, and must be incorporated within the state.
Financial Assets Will
The Financial Assets Will guarantees that your finances are handled in the way you want them to be, after your death.
The Will can include up to 10 separate accounts (or a share of up to 10). These need to be registered in your name (or jointly with someone else), and they must be with a bank or brokerage firm that’s registered within the UAE.
There are also some further conditions. For example, every bank account needs to be with a bank that’s regulated by the Central Bank of UAE. Likewise, brokerage accounts need to be regulated by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority. The accounts should only contain moveable assets. These include:
- Securities issued by a government authority
- Publicly traded shares
This is the most suitable option for the majority of people, as it covers all the above. It’s also more cost-effective than investing separately in each type of Will.
A Full Will covers both guardianship and the distribution of assets. If you don’t yet have children (but plan to have them in the future), it can be amended at a later date to include guardianship instructions.
Single or mirror Wills?
When you register a DIFC Courts Will, you can select either a Single or Mirror option. ‘Single’ is suitable for unmarried people, and ‘Mirror’ is the right choice if you and your wife or husband want to register your Wills simultaneously. The advantage of choosing the Mirror option is that the registration fees are cheaper.
Getting help with your Will
Your Will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever create, and as such, it’s vital to get it right. Charterhouse Lombard are here to help you through the entire process; from selecting the right Will for your requirements, to submitting the relevant documents and ensuring your assets are distributed correctly after you pass away.
You can find out more about our wills service on our Dubai Wills page.
To find out more, get in touch with our team today.