Non-Muslims: New Dubai Law to regulate your wills

By Angel Chan

Law regulates inheritance, wills and probate for non-Muslims

DUBAI 1 November 2017:  Law No. 15 of 2017 regulating inheritance, wills and probate for non-Muslims, has been issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Law, which is applicable to the wills and assets of non-Muslims based in Dubai including the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), creates a clear legal framework for non-Muslims to create wills according to their wishes, said Wam.

It also outlines clear legal procedures that will encourage residents to register their wills and manage their assets in Dubai, thereby creating increased confidence in Dubai’s investment landscape.

The Law facilitates the creation of a ‘Non-Muslim Wills and Probate Registry’ in both Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts. The heads of Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts are authorised to develop the regulations, policies and procedures for the Registry.

Will & Probate Registry DIFC
Will & Probate Registry DIFC

The Law prescribes the legal requirements for wills and probate for non-Muslims, the liabilities and obligations of the beneficiaries of wills, the responsibilities and limitations of will executors, the regulations governing inheritance and the distribution and management of the estate as well as appeal procedures. Disputes arising from wills and probate for non-Muslims will be adjudicated by Dubai Courts or DIFC Courts, depending on the place where the wills are registered.

Pursuant to the Law, any non-Muslim will registered at Dubai Courts or DIFC Courts prior to this Law remains valid. This Law annuls any other legislation that challenges or contradicts its articles.

The Law is valid from the date of issuance and will be published in the Official Gazette.