Will Registry in the DIFC

What happens to my family and assets following my death? A question that troubles a lot of expatriates living in the UAE. The Wills and Probate Registry as a public entity of the Dubai Government and an ancillary body of the DIFC’s Dispute Resolution Authority offers, since May 2015, a first-of-its-kind service in the MENA region, one that allows non-Muslims a greater choice in determining how their assets in the Emirate of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah are to be distributed and in appointing guardians for their minor children residing in one of the two Emirates following their death.

For a Will registration, the following four key criteria are to be met:

  • The Testator is not a Muslim and has never been a Muslim.
  • The Testator is over 21 years of age.
  • The Testator owns assets in the Emirate of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah (however no requirement to be resident in the UAE).
  • Any children for which the Testator wishes to appoint interim and/or permanent guardians for must be habitually resident in the Emirate of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.

Different Types of Will:

  • Full Will: Securing all assets in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, including children’s guardianship.
  • Guardianship Will: solely providing for the appointment of guardians for the Testator’s children (of 21 years old or younger) being residents in either Emirate, Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.
  • Property Will: encompassing up to five real estate properties (or a share in up to five real estate properties).
  • Free Zone Company Will: encompassing up to five separate shareholdings in any free zone company situated in the Emirate of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.
  • Financial Assets Will: covers up to ten separate accounts or a share in up to ten separate accounts that are legally held with a bank or brokerage firm , holding only movable assets comprising monies and/or publicly traded shares, stock or other securities and/or securities issued by any government authority.

A single Testator can only register a “Single Will”, whereas in case the Testator is married and both, the Testator and wife/husband, wish to register a Will at the same time, then the “Mirror Will” option should be selected (as this option grants an overall net reduction in registration fees).

Swiss ILC services

Living in the UAE with peace of mind – Swiss ILC will gladly assist you with qualified people, registered as will draftsmen with the Will and Probate Registry, with all the needs concerning a Will by gathering the requirements, drafting and registering the will with the authorities.

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