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Claiming Inheritance In UAE

Claiming Inheritance In UAE

Many among us are concerned about the inheritance laws in a country like the UAE, where the expatriate population exceeds that of citizens. This quick essay will address two key concerns:

  • Whether the UAE’s laws of Sharia will be upheld in our home nation.
  • Is the application of UAE law limited to Emiratis, or to Muslims throughout the world, or even to all expatriates regardless of their country and religion?

The Federal Decree Law No. 29 of 2020, which is a subset of the Personal Status Law (Personal Status Law), governs personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and other issues.

What happens if a UAE Ex-pat Resident dies intestate in the UAE?

  • When a person dies intestate, it means that he or she owes money but does not make a will. If a person dies intestate in the UAE (without leaving a will), the courts are permitted to apply Sharia provisions on assets and child custody. All of his assets, including bank accounts, will be frozen when a non-Muslim expat passes away in the UAE (dies intestate). When the last transaction on a given asset has been completed, there is no possibility of further transactions until the law interferes and determines how the assets should be split up.
  • If the death occurred outside of the UAE, the legal representative must bring with him or her: a) The certificate of death; and b) Passport copies of legal heirs and proof of assets, such as a photocopy of the original title deed (if real estate was involved), bank details (if bank accounts are applicable), trade licenses (if any).
  • An application for a Legal Heir Certificate must also be completed together with the documentation listed above. Before the court, two male religious witnesses of the same religion must verify the legal heirs before being granted a legal heir certificate by the court. In the Legal Heir Certificate, the proportion of shares for each legal heir would be specified as per Sharia calculation.
  • The assets will be distributed to the legal heirs of the decedent, known as blood relatives, under Sharia law only if there is no will. The share Each Daughter would receive in a circumstance where one son and two daughters survive the deceased and one of them is a son and the other two are daughters under Sharia law is as follows:
  • The wife will get 1/8th of the estate, while the mother and father each take home 1/6th. The remaining assets will be shared among the son and daughters, with the son receiving a proportion of two daughters (i.e., a male child receives double of a female child). This applies whether or not the non-Muslim expatriate has a valid will in his/her home nation.

The government of the United Arab Emirates has introduced many progressive changes to Islamic personal law in recent years, including strengthening protections for women and non-Muslims.

The latest amendments explicitly enable ex-pats to utilize the laws of their home country for inheritance issues, but if a registered will exists, it will be followed. This is a significant change in comparison to the previous provisions, which required that Islamic sharia be applied in inheritance cases when the deceased dies intestate. However, with the new amendments, personal law will be applied in such cases.

There are several authorities where you can register your will:

  • The Dubai International Financial Centre Will’s Service Center (only in RAK and Dubai)
  • Dubai Civil Courts (All Over the UAE)
  • Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (Throughout the UAE)

There are two types of wills:

  • Individual Will: is a single will.
  • Mirrored Wills: A mirrored will is generally intended for a married couple in which the other would be reflected.

For non-Muslim foreigners who have their domicile or place of residence or workplace in Abu Dhabi, the Personal Status for Non-Muslims in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’ provisions shall apply. In the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the procedure is somewhat different from other emirates, owing to the recent legislation.

The new rules have updated several aspects of family and personal law, such as inheritance, to keep up with changing times in order to comply with more modern regulations. The new laws seek to strike a delicate balance between preserving the country’s heritage and developing a modern society that honors its many duties, according to the proposed changes.

To summarize, the appropriate approach is to have a will in place and to make certain that additional measures are taken depending on the emirate of residency.

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