Published 2023-11-28 19:51:05

Do I need a will in the UAE?
By s sindhwani , India assets/flags/flag-of-India.png
Do I need a will in the UAE?

In the diverse landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where cultural traditions intersect with a modern legal system, the question of whether one needs a will becomes paramount. This article seeks to unravel the intricacies of estate planning in the UAE, exploring the necessity of having a will and the various considerations that individuals, both locals and expatriates, should bear in mind.

 Sharia Law and Inheritance

The influence of Sharia law is pervasive in the UAE, and understanding its impact on inheritance is crucial. This section delves into the principles of Sharia-compliant inheritance, emphasizing the limitations and challenges it may pose in the realm of estate planning. Individuals need to recognize the constraints and explore alternative options to ensure their testamentary wishes align with their beliefs.

 Expatriate and Non-Muslim Considerations

Expatriates and non-Muslim residents face unique challenges in the UAE's legal landscape. This section explores the implications of Sharia-compliant inheritance for non-Muslims and the avenues available for those seeking alternative approaches. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will emerge as a viable option, offering a jurisdiction-specific solution for expatriates.

 Asset Protection and Distribution

The fair distribution of assets is a cornerstone of estate planning. Without a will, the process becomes uncertain, and this section outlines the potential impact on asset distribution. It emphasizes the importance of a will in ensuring that assets are distributed according to the testator's wishes, minimizing the risk of disputes among heirs.

Guardianship for Minors

For parents, the appointment of guardians for minors is a critical aspect of estate planning. This section explores the legal implications of not having a will in place, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the well-being and care of dependent children. Clear testamentary wishes help avoid uncertainties and provide a secure future for minors.

Avoiding Family Disputes

Family conflicts can arise when testamentary wishes are unclear or not documented. This section highlights the role of a will in mitigating potential disputes among family members. By clearly outlining who inherits what, a will acts as a preventive measure, fostering harmony and understanding among heirs.

 Choosing an Executor

The appointment of an executor is a crucial decision in estate planning. This section outlines the role and responsibilities of an executor, emphasizing the legal implications of not appointing one. A designated executor ensures the efficient administration of the estate, translating the testator's wishes into action.

 Legal Requirements for Creating a Will

Understanding the legal requirements for creating a will is fundamental. This section explores the eligibility, capacity, and formalities involved in the process, shedding light on the role of witnesses and notarization. Adhering to these legal requirements ensures the validity and enforceability of the testamentary document.

 Access to Bank Accounts and Assets

Without a will, accessing bank accounts and other assets can become challenging for heirs. This section underscores the role of a will in facilitating smooth access for beneficiaries, streamlining the process, and providing clarity on financial matters.


In the tapestry of the UAE's legal landscape, the need for a will emerges as a crucial thread. Whether influenced by Sharia law or seeking alternatives for expatriates, having a will is not just a legal requirement but a proactive step toward ensuring one's legacy is preserved and heirs are provided for in a manner aligned with individual values and beliefs. Seeking legal advice in navigating the complexities of estate planning in the UAE is a prudent choice, allowing individuals to chart a course that safeguards their assets and secures the well-being of their loved ones.



No Comments