By Trench & Associates


The Resolution Nr (4) of 2014 has been signed by HH Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum, President of the DIFC. This Resolution provides the legal basis required for the Establishment of the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (for non-Muslims). As a consequence: 



1. The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry will mark the introduction of a new set of rules relating to succession and inheritance matters for non-Muslims with assets in Dubai and will provide a mechanism to pass on their estates according to their wishes.


2. The rules governing the Wills and probate Registry will complement existing UAE laws on inheritance for non-Muslims, and provide non-Muslims with the option and right to choose the way in which their estates are distributed.


3. The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry will be within the DIFC jurisdiction and will work with the DIFC Courts for the production of grants and court orders for the distribution of assets.


4. The DIFC will be the first jurisdiction in the MENA region, where non-Muslims can register a will under internationally-recognized common law principles. Note, however, this is not the first system in the world to provide for non-Muslims in Muslim regions in this way: see Singapore and Malaysia.


5. By creating legal certainty for non-Muslim inheritance, the Wills and Probate Registry will encourage capital investment in Dubai and support economic growth.



DIFC will introduce a very short form Will which the Testator can adopt purely for his / her Dubai assets and which will be construed under the laws of DIFC (English law). Upon unfortunate demise, the Will shall be probated through the DIFC Courts. The DIFC Courts’ judgments will be immediately executable upon Government Departments and Banks in Dubai although we would imagine that initially this process could take a bit of time say a few months, but it will still be much shorter than having to file an appeal at the Dubai Courts against the Sharia Succession Order.


The DIFC fees for registration of a Will is Dhs 10,000. Once we have more information on the implementation of this Resolution, which is envisaged to be made by the 2nd quarter of 2015, we will let you know immediately. Since we are part of the Group assisting the DIFC in formulating this Registry and its regulations, we are pleased that we have been offered the first slot of registrations before other firms outside of this Group.





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