Why it is essential for non-Muslim expats in the UAE to have a registered will
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Why it is essential for non-Muslim expats in the UAE to have a registered will

Why it is essential for non-Muslim expats in the UAE to have a registered will

Non-Muslim expatriates can now register their wills online

The recent law passed by the Abu Dhabi government to revise regulations regarding personal status matters for non-Muslim expats in the country is set to have a wide-ranging impact.

Passed in November, the law covers matters related to inheritance, civil marriage, divorce and joint custody of children.

“The latest law relating to family matters of non-Muslims is a welcome change in the current civil legal framework of the UAE,” says Muhammad Tariq, partner at Legal Inz – an online platform which offers legal services in the UAE.

“It is not akin to the legal process that we have been accustomed to in other GCC countries and it is definitely a step in the right direction from the Abu Dhabi government.”

In an unprecedented move, it calls for the establishment of a special bilingual (English and Arabic) court to adjudicate family and inheritance matters of non-Muslims, and to improve judicial transparency.

Non-Muslim expatriates can now register their wills online with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and there will not be a need for a translator to navigate court proceedings.

“It has been a rough couple of years for the entire world with the global pandemic,” says Aiman Fatima, assistant director at Legal Inz.

“As the dust settles, if there is any retrospect that this pandemic has provided us, it is the fact that life is unpredictable. It has also shown us that it will always be in our best interests to plan ahead for any emergencies in the future.”

Overall, the law, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, was reportedly introduced to bring non-Muslim family matters in Abu Dhabi in line with international best practices.

“Scenes in Western countries where wills were signed and witnessed on windshield wipers of cars – reflecting the health uncertainties – have shown us just how urgent and vital it is to plan your estate through a will. It has also shown us how advanced and well-planned the actions of the government of Abu Dhabi were, in allowing for the online registration of wills,” says Tariq.

While traditional law firms charge astronomical figures to draft a will, Legal Inz offers will-writing services completely online at a fixed fee. The process involves filling up a form online for the required service. Once that has been completed, a dedicated lawyer is assigned to complete the process. For more details, click here or call at 800 (LEGAL) 53425 to get started on drafting your own will with Legal Inz.

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