Wills Drafting Services in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

A Will is a legal document that directs who will be entitled to one’s estate upon his or her death. A Will can also include an executor to execute the wishes of the deceased during estate distribution process.

Each country has different rules and regulations on inheritance matters, which are normally formulated based on customs, legal system, religious beliefs etc. The United Arab Emirates, having Islam as an official religion, follows Sharia principles in relation to family and inheritance matters. However, considering the high number of expat population and foreign investors, the UAE laws allow non-Muslim expatriates, with assets in the UAE, to make a Will in accordance with their home country’s law. The person making a Will can choose the applicable law in a Will, and in the absence of a Will, the courts can still apply Shariah principles.

Under the present regime, expatriates may get their Will registered under different jurisdictions within the UAE: Dubai Courts, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Civil Family Court.

Dubai Courts Wills Overview

The Dubai Courts Wills gives non-Muslims investing and living in the United Arab Emirates the option to pass on their assets to their loved ones and/or appoint guardians for their children, in accordance with the instructions in their Will.

Dubai Courts, which is conducted in the Arabic language, has jurisdiction in relation to applications and granting of Probate Orders and Guardianship Orders relating to estates of those individuals that have passed away leaving a Will registered at the Dubai Courts. The Dubai Courts will also deal with any claims, further applications, and objections that may arise during the Probate proceedings, in line with the rules and all other laws applicable in Dubai. Wills registered with the Dubai Courts apply to all Emirates.

Dubai Courts’ official fees for Will registration is about AED 2,020 per a single Will, and the official fees will be doubled for a mirror Will when a husband and wife issue Wills that mirror each other.

Dubai Courts’ Will can be registered either in person or electronically through the Notary Public offices in Dubai. Before attending the notary public, the Will has to be drafted by a lawyer or professional Wills draftsmen.

DIFC Wills Overview

The DIFC Wills gives non-Muslims living or investing in the UAE the option to register their Wills in DIFC, which operates based on English common laws.

The DIFC Courts, which is conducted in the English language, has jurisdiction in relation to applications and granting of Probate Orders and Guardianship Orders relating to estates of those individuals that have passed away leaving a Will registered at the DIFC Wills Registry. The DIFC Courts will also deal with any claims, further applications, and objections that may arise during the Probate proceedings, in line with the Rules and all other laws applicable in the DIFC.

For a single Will, the DIFC official fees vary between AED 5,000 to AED 10,000 depen