Dubai Launches New Wills For Expat Property Owners

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Expats owning homes, land or commercial buildings in Dubai can now safeguard their investments with an official online property will.

The new will allows an owner of up to five properties in the emirate to file instructions on passing them on when they die.

The will must be registered and signed by the owner at the Dubai Wills and Probate Registry.

To discover how to file the new Dubai property will, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Who can qualify for the will?

Any resident or non-resident owning land, a home or commercial property in Dubai, who:

  • Is not and never has been a Muslim
  • Is aged 21 or over

Do I need a lawyer to draft the will?

No, but talking to a lawyer is advised, especially if an expat’s financial and family affairs are complicated.

Issues such as personal debts, appointing guardians for children and disinheriting close relatives should be discussed with a lawyer.

Do inheritance laws outside Dubai still affect an estate?

Yes, they can. Inheritance laws are generally related to domicile rather than tax residence, so taking professional advice on where you are domiciled and how this impacts tax and successions is important.

What happens if I have wills in two or more countries?

This is generally advisable if expats have valuable assets spread across several countries with different local inheritance rules to make sure the assets are distributed according to your wishes when you die.

Do I have to go to Dubai to make the will?

No, but expats will have to visit the Wills and Probate Registry to sign the will in front of witnesses

What are the costs of a Dubai property will?

A number of fees are charged for filing, changing and administering the service.

Expats will pay £1,533 for registering a single property will or £2,044 for mirror wills.

How do I draft a will?

Go to the Wills and Probate Registry web site and follow the online instructions. The registry provides a template will and an appointment service for witnessing.

Drafting the template can be completed online, but expats have to visit Dubai to sign the will before a registry officer before the will comes into effect.

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