6 Important Considerations For DIFC Wills In UAE

6 Important Considerations For DIFC Wills In UAE

Drafting a will in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is important for individuals residing or owning assets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). DIFC wills offer expatriates and non-Muslim residents the opportunity to dictate the distribution of their assets according to their wishes, bypassing Sharia law. However, several crucial considerations must be taken into account when preparing a DIFC will:

Jurisdictional scope:

DIFC wills are applicable exclusively within the DIFC jurisdiction. They do not extend to assets located outside the DIFC or other Emirates of the UAE. Therefore, individuals with assets in other Emirates or countries may need additional wills or legal instruments to address those assets separately.

Legal capacity:

To execute a DIFC will, individuals must have legal capacity, meaning they must be of sound mind and at least 21 years old. It’s essential to ensure that the testator (the person making the will) understands the nature and consequences of their decisions and is not under any undue influence or coercion.

Proper execution:

DIFC wills must be executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (WPR). This includes signing the will in the presence of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries or their spouses. Failing to adhere to these formalities could render the will invalid.

Appointment of executors and guardians:

Testators can appoint executors to administer their estates and guardians to care for their minor children in their DIFC wills. Careful consideration should be given to selecting trustworthy individuals who are willing and capable of fulfilling these roles responsibly.

Asset distribution:

DIFC wills allow testators to specify how their assets should be distributed upon their death. Whether it’s dividing assets among family members, allocating specific gifts to individuals or charitable organizations, or establishing trusts for beneficiaries, clear instructions should be provided to avoid disputes or challenges.

Guardianship provisions:

For parents with minor children, DIFC wills provide the opportunity to designate guardians who will assume responsibility for their children’s care and upbringing in the event of their death. This decision should be made thoughtfully, considering the guardian’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and financial needs.