About Dubai courts / Notary Public: The Notary Public is a term for a public employee which is extracted from the Holy verse of Quran (Let a scribe write down faithfully as
between the parties), Al-Baqarah, 282. In the UAE has regularized it through Law No.22 of 1961 regarding Notary Public and its amendments.
Notary Public tasks in the Emirate of Dubai are : To attest the signatures on the contracts and instruments. To register date in the customary instruments. Authentication of
marriage contracts issued by recognized churches in Dubai. Authentication of signature on will made by Non-Muslims, In acceptance with Notary Public Law No.22 of 1991 regarding Notary
Public and its amendments.
Permissible age to make a will? For Dubai wills person should have completed 21 years in Hijra Calendar (equivalent to 20 years 4 months and 15 days)
Will Shariah Law be applied even if there is a Will? In general not for non-muslims. However our practical experience has shown that sometimes courts issue
probates as per shariah principles in the first instance, however there is a procedure which needs to activated to request the court to rework out the probate as per the will. The very
principle of Shariah means
What about assets that I acquire in future? All your assets are (present and future) are covered in the scope of the Will. However in case of a new property acquisition, what
you will need to make is a Specific POA
Why are POA's part of the succession set? A will is applicable only after the death of the person. However if the person is fully incapacitated, paralysed etc. a POA may be
used to manage/buy/sell assets.
Why are AoD's part of the succession set? An acknowledgement of debt (AoD) is a definitive method to ensure that even if the courts
issue a probate assigning immovable assets to a list of legal heirs as per Shariah law, the asset can still be directed to the intended recipient since debts on the estate need to be
settled first before the estate is apportioned between the legal heirs. In non-shariah systems a gift deed maybe drawn up.
Templates / drafts : only upon payment
Can a POA holder make a will? Yes, in case of persons who are not able to travel, not mobile, in hospital, prison etc. a POA holder can make and sign a will if the POA
permits it. However in the UAE this is upto the discretion of the presiding officer and hence unpredictable.
May a minor make a will? No, he personally may not, however the legal guardian of minor or his caretaker shall obtain approval for the same from the competent Court before
signing a will in relation with minor's property.
Guardian. When a testator has minor children he/she is advised to specify a guardian in the will. The responsibilities of the guardian will be to guide the children and to
use the monies left to the children for the benefit of the children, until they reach the age of majority. If no guardian is specified, the court will appoint one and it could be someone that
the testator may not like. Hence it is better to specify a guardian than leave this decision to the court. Neither of the testators are permitted to be listed as guardians. Guardians should
ideally be younger than the testators, a trusted and stable person. Guardian may or may not be a family member.
May a group of people make a will in a single document? - Yes, provided they are collective owners of the property which is the subject matter of the will. (Note: however in
practice such joint wills are routinely rejected, especially since April 2014. We therefore draw up' mirror' (individual) wills by default)
Can a will be a general will or it should specify all properties individually? - General (not Specific) wills are perfectly acceptable and advisable
May an addendum to the will executed? - Yes, an addendum could be executed to an authenticated will whether by amending or adding to the same (Note: Changes to will may need
to be done in case of marriage, divorce, births, deaths among the legatees / inheritors)
Should i include all my properties and assets on the will? No. No need. No use. Not practical. Assets change all the time, properties are bought and sold, a/c are opened and
closed all the time, hence this is not practical. It makes no difference to the probate if assets are listed or not, as the probate only refers to asset classes not individual assets.
May a testator revoke his will? - Yes, a testator may revoke or change / alter / supersede an authenticated will its addendums
How is the Govt. fee calculated for authentication of a will? - Dubai courts method flat fee of 2-3000 AED per will or Embassy method 3-500AED per will. If client insists on
listing properties and accounts on the will (which is totally un-necessary and even harmful at the time of execution) a further 0.25%* x Value of properties specified, subject to a maximum of
10,000AED per Dubai courts method.
Authentication of Wills, POA's etc - In the UAE there are 2 options. First, get attestation at the UAE courts notary, second get attestation at your consulate / embassy. We
prefer the consulate / embassy legalization route. From our probate experience we have found out that documents attested at consulate and embassies are acceptable at the time of probate. In
addition, the consulates do not charge a % of assets (Dubai courts 0.50% charge on value), which is a big saving for those who have valuable assets. Finally, the consulates do not
whimsically reject / object to documentation hence saving time and inconvenience. In common law countries (India, Can, Aus, NZ etc.) it is not mandatory to attest wills. Instructions on how
to authenticate your will will be issued to you at the time document preparation and delivery. We recommend attestation only in rare cases where a dispute is expected almost certainly, or in
cases where testators health, mental capacity etc can be called into question at a later date.
After authentication of a will signed by a Non-Muslim, will the Court implement the will deed as it is? - Authentication does not ensure what a decision may be conclude by a
competent court. This shall be subjected to related law. (Note: results are often inconsistent in the UAE. However in the end the courts do consider the wishes of the testator if there is no
obvious challenge, counter claim etc. It is more a question of time rather than possible / not possible. From our experience the main lesson is "It is better to have a Will
and POA set than not have one")
Vario Will - Is a special Will adapted to comply with both Shariah s well as Common law. It protects assets in the UAE (or Oman, Qatar) as well as your home country eg. in
UK, India, Australia etc. There is no need to make another will in your home country.
- If my family, spouse, children are already deceased at the time I die, or if we all die together - Decide on a charity, a
friend, a relative to leave your assets to. If you do not wish to name anyone then the related paragraph will be deleted, in which case the courts will then decide who will get how much