The United Arab Emirates is the second home to a huge number of expatriates who leave their country of origin to live and work in the country in search of better jobs and lifestyles. Most of these expats are unaware of the local laws which leave them in a fix when a sudden challenge hits them. The Abu Dhabi Government allowed the non-Muslim expatriates in May last year to decide on the distribution strategy of their movable and immovable assets in an event of their loss of life. The local government also allowed the non-Muslim expats to distribute their assets without Sharia law being applied on their wills in Abu Dhabi.
The following step-by-step guide will help you in getting your will registered at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. First of all, you need to know that you can go about the whole procedure alone and don’t have to hire a legal expert, but it is always better to have a learned legal expert to ease up the process.
- The first step is to draft your will. An efficient legal will has roles of beneficiaries, executors, guardians (if any) defined in a detailed manner. Moreover, it also details how you want your assets to be distributed among your heirs after your demise. While mentioning the names of beneficiaries, executors, and guardians, always make sure to write their full names, nationality, date of birth, and place of birth besides mentioning your relationship with them. These details will help the legal authorities to streamline the process without any hassles.
- Your will must be translated in both Arabic and English languages. The translation in Abu Dhabi would cost around 1500 AEDs to 2000 AEDs (depends on the case). Always make sure to find a translator who is registered with the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Justice Department.
- You should bring your Emirates ID (both original and copy), passport (both original and copy), three copies of the will (one for the court, two for you), and title deeds (only if your will has a mention of properties).
- The next step is to book an appointment by logging on to the registry’s website. You can create your account on the website if you’re over 21 years of age. You will have to submit an online fee of 500 AEDs. After submission of fee, you would be able to fix an appointment.
- You may finally visit the court which is located at Al-Khaleej-Al-Arabi Street, close to Zayed Sports City. You should take a token from the reception and then wait for your turn. It is important to note that the Abu Dhabi courts operating from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays.
For information about the DIFC wills in Dubai, please follow the link.