A Will is a legal document that explains what a person wishes to do with his/ her assets after demise. A valid Will is recognized by the UAE courts to determine the inheritance of one’s assets, guardianship of the children and other wishes of the deceased, e.g. contributions to charitable causes and specifying funeral arrangements.
In case a person of any religion dies intestate (without leaving a Will) in the UAE, the local courts will adhere to Islamic Sharia Laws in regard to inheritance of assets and custody of children, as the UAE courts do not follow the process of common law. While this may sound fine, its implications often result in lengthy processes i.e. all personal assets of the deceased, including bank accounts, will be seized until all liabilities (if any) have been discharged, and then each legal heir gets a fixed share based on some parameters of Sharia Law.
In particular, business owners have special needs and critical questions regarding transfer of assets in the event of death, as in the UAE, company shares do not pass automatically by survivorship, unlike to some common law countries, which often results in lengthy processes that can affect the performance and profitability of the company.
As an experienced law firm, Motei & Associates can advise on the law of intestacy and help you prepare and register a Will that is specifically designed, professionally drafted, anticipates different scenarios and circumstances, and addresses all key issues pertaining to personal assets as well as real estate and business ownership, no matter which nationality and religion you belong to.