Expat Wills

New Rules For Expat Wills in UAE

On Saturday 7th November, Emirates News Agency (WAM) announced there will be changes in UAE Federal law on Personal Status. This is the law which governs inheritance and many other aspects of life in the UAE. As at today, 9th November, information is limited as the laws have not been published. Until they are published, it is not possible to analyse them in detail. However, the issue of Expat Wills and Guardianship remains a very important part of expat financial planning.

The key announcement from an inheritance perspective is: “… amendments to the Personal Status Law and the Civil Transactions Law allow non-citizens to choose the laws that apply to their actions in matters of inheritance and inheritance, in order to achieve stability in the financial interests of foreign investors in the country.” This is very encouraging and we look forward to seeing the details.

Are Expat Wills Making DIFC Wills Redundant?

Many people have asked me whether this now means that the Dubai International Financial Center Wills are redundant. Until we see the details, it is not possible to say for certain. However, whilst UAE Federal Law may have changed, this is only one half of the equation. We also need to consider the home country law. This may have certain restrictions on certain assets or geography.

Do I Still Need A Guardianship Document?

For most expats living in the UAE with young children, the reason they have guardianship documents is that their chosen legal guardian is not living in the UAE. Therefore, I think there will still be a need for temporary guardianship documents via the local courts.

What Action Should I Take?

A Will is a living document. For it to remain relevant, it must truly reflect your wishes. Therefore when your circumstances change, you should review your Will. Another important time to review your Will is when there are changes to legislation.

If changes are required, you should contact a qualified Will Writer or Lawyer to redraft your Will.

My Will Writing company, Great British Wills, specialises in providing Expat Wills written under English law for expatriates resident in UAE.

If you would like to see the original WAM announcement, please click here.

For more information please call me on 050 594 5217, or contact us.


Stuart Porter - Expat Financial Advisor UAE
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