In order to register a will with the DIFC Wills & Probate Service, the requirements are that:
“- You are not Muslim
– You are over 21 years
– If your require a guardianship provision included in the will, you have minors living with you in Dubai
– You have assets in Dubai.
The initial step is to make an appointment at . Your appointment confirmation email will include important information about the documents you will need to bring along. This includes your unsigned will. You must also bring along a witness, and the appointed guardian (if applicable.) All present parties need to bring their respective ID along with them.
They check your documents, including your unsigned will
They invite you to sign the will in our presence
They inform you of when you need to come back and change your will
They inform you about your executor ‘s (and guardian’s) duties, powers and responsibilities according to our Rules
They provide you with a hard-copy of your signed will, if you so wish. The original will remains under our custody and will be scanned and turned into an electronic document ( a digital will). They store your will for 120 years from you date of birth.
The wills registration fee must be paid at the appointment.
The Registry creates a file number and emails this information to you. We will ask you to verify that this information is correct. Your will is then stored electronically in a secure and confidential environment.
A Will must have been drafted either by a Testator or by a Wills Draftsman.
If a Testator has not drafted his or her own Will, the Testator shall submit proof to the DIFC WPR that the Will has been drafted by a Will Draftsman by either:
- (a) providing a signed letter from the Will Draftsman confirming that he or she has drafted the will;
- (b) providing any other document acceptable to the Officer substantiating the services provided to the Testator by the Will Draftsman;
- (c) personal attendance of the Will Draftsman at the time of the registration of the Will; or
- (d) direct email communication from the Will Draftsman to the DIFC WPR confirming the services provided to the Testator.
“Anyone of age of majority and sound of mind may write their own will and change it anytime during their life, without consulting an attorney or of a professional legal representative.
However, there is a risk that your home-drafted Will may be invalid or ineffective, causing unnecessary burdens and expenses on your executors and beneficiaries.
Especially in light of understanding the rules on the requirements for a Will registration and to avoid conflicts in the later probate stages, it is advisable to consult a qualified legal representative. For a quick glimpse at our draft rules, please visit www.difcprobate.ae.
It is therefore in your best interest to seek the advice and Will drafting services of a attorney.
The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry does not provide legal advice.
In case your will does not comply with the requirements as set out in our rules, the Registry reserves the right to delay the registration of your will until your file if completed, and book for you another follow-up appointment at a later date. In this event, you will not be charged any additional fees.”
“The UAE is the first jurisdiction in the Middle East where non-Muslims can make a will under international-recognised Common Law principles.
Yet, this is not the first such system in the world. A few other common law jurisdictions such as Malaysia, Hong-Kong, and Singapore also have similar provisions to deal with the estates of Muslims and non-Muslims distinctively.
The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (WPR) does not have any judicial functions. It is an administrative body. We work with the DIFC Courts in the production of grants and court orders for the distribution of assets as well as guardianship. The ability of non-Muslims expatriates to gain legal certainty for the distribution of their assets in Dubai is subject to a formal will registration process and functions as an opt-in mechanism.
WHAT TO DO?
We advise you to seek a lawyer’s advice for drafting your will. Please make an appointment for your will registration online.
Our goal is to ensure the Wills and Probate Registry services represent a viable inheritance solution for non-Muslims with assets in Dubai.
We aim to deliver highly confidential wills registration and probate services with a level of speed, efficiency and quality that exceed global benchmarks.
At a time when laws are becoming more intricate and complex, we seek to simplify and streamline our legal frameworks to enable a wide range of legal practitioners and individuals to resolve inheritance and succession issues with minimum hassle and costs.
Simple, easy legal framework for the functioning of the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry and for the ensuing probate process created in conjunction with the DIFC Courts.
Highest standards of professional administration.
Strict confidentiality for all deposited wills and related documents and information.
Utmost discretion in handling your appointments, managing your inquiries and your interactions with The Registry.
Role of DIFC Courts
The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (The Registry) works in conjunction with the DIFC Courts. The DIFC Courts issues the necessary distribution orders for the ensuing Probate Process. All probate grants are issued by DIFC Courts judges.
All claims, applications and objections to the probate process will be heard by the DIFC Courts, in accordance with the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules, (WPR Rules) the Rules of the DIFC Courts and all other laws applicable in the DIFC.
The DIFC WPR Rules are available: www.difcprobate.ae
Execution (Registration) of a will before a registry officer
1/ On the execution and witnessing of a will before a registry officer at the registry
Modification of a will before a registry officer
On the execution and witnessing of a new will before a registry officer at the registry
Simultaneous execution (Registration) of Two Mirror DIFC Wills (by Spouses) before a registry officer (Form 1)
On the execution and witnessing of two mirror DIFC wills before a registry officer at the registry
Execution (Registration) of a DIFC Guardianship will before a registry officer (Form 2)
On the execution and witnessing of a DIFC Guardianship will before a registry officer at the registry
Execution (Registration) of two Mirror DIFC Guardianship wills before a registry officer (Form 2)
On the execution and witnessing of two DIFC Guardianship wills before a registry officer at the registry
On inspection of any will or other document retained by the registry (in the presence of an authorised officer)
Withdrawal of will
On the withdrawal of any will or other document retained by the registry (in the presence of an authorised officer)
Application for a grant
On an application for a grant other than on an application to which fee 3 applies
For a duplicate or second or subsequent grant (including one following a revoked grant) in respect of the same deceased person
AED 1,900 + any applicable DIFC Court fee
On an application for or relating to the issue of a notification to accept or refuse or take a grant or to prove a will by probate claim
AED 2,200 + any applicable DIFC Court fee
For the entry or the extension of an objection
AED 2,200 + any applicable DIFC Court fee
On an application for a standing search to be carried out in an estate, for each period of six months including the issue of a copy grant and will, if any (irrespective of the number of pages)
On a request for a copy of any document whether or not provided as a certified copy:
(a)for the first copy AED 7
(b)for every subsequent copy of the same document if supplied at the same time AED 3
(c)where copies of any document are made available ona computer disk or in other electronic form, for each such copy AED 165 (including a USB stick)
(d)where a search of the index is required, in addition to fee 8(a), (b) or (c) as appropriate, for each period of 4 years searched after the first 4 years AED 240
Determination of costs
For determining costs
The same fees as are payable from time to time for determining costs under Part 40 of the RDC 2014
The fees above are all administrative fees. All of the above mentioned fees are payable in payable in United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) or their equivalent in other currencies at the applicable conversion rates, and as determined by the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry, from time to time.
At the onset of our operations in May 2015, we shall accept payments at the Registry by cash or cheques.
Selected law firms have the additional option of making payments by registering with the Wills and Probate Registry’s credit facility.“
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