Expats will be able to register their wills in UAE courts from this May.
They will have the option to register their wills in the Dubai International Financial Centre for around AED10,000 ($2,722), although the cost could be reduced.
Current expat wills only safeguard movable assets such as money, jewellery, stocks and shares, and not immovable assets such land, machinery and fixed furniture.
The new rules include immovable assets – including property, the distribution of which could not be safeguarded in current expat wills because the UAE Civil Transactions Law dictates how real estate assets are disposed.
Diana Hamade, attorney at law & legal consultant, UAE Courts & DIFC Courts, International Advocate Legal Services, who is also a member of the drafting panel, told the Emirates 247 news service: “The DIFC wills for non-Muslims will start around early May 2015. Ideally, the law should have been signed and passed by then. The DIFC is already in process of setting up its register of wills.”
She added: “There is no application of Sharia law [if the testator chooses so].”
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.