What will happen if you pass away without a will?

If you pass away without a will the law of the country will apply i.e where the asset is registered law of the country will apply so if the assets are registered in UAE the UAE law will apply if you have assets is UK laws of intestacy will apply so in another words it is the law of the county that applies this is why you should make a will so your wishes can be applied. Good example if you are driving a car in a different county would you take out insurance from your home country or from the in which you are driving.

What is an Executor?

Executor is a person who will execute the will more like a PRO who follows the instructions, he closes the bank accounts, pays the debts & liabilities and deals with the actual distribution of estate as per the will.

What is the Age of Minority in UAE

It is 21 in UAE.

Do I have to appoint a Solicitor or Bank as my Trustees?

No it is not compulsory. You don’t have to do this.

Does it matter if my Executors live abroad?

No it is not a problem, Its just that at the time of execution the executors will have to come to the UAE to deal with the execution it could also mean that they might need to get visa to come here. It is usually recommended to appoint an executor who lives in UAE but it is not mandatory.

How many Executors can I choose?

2 to 3 people are recommended for the purpose of executors. You can have single or joint, single is recommended because joint can be sometimes challenging as both of the executors are required to be present at the time of will execution.

What does an Executor have to do?

The executor is the person who you nominate to do the execution of the will for him to follow your wishes, making sure debts & liabilities are paid, liquidating assets and so on. It is recommended to appoint someone professional to do the task.

Should my Guardians be Executors?

Yes, however please be reminded that you are giving one person a big responsibility of will execution and look after your children. We recommend you to appoint 2 different people for these two different jobs.

Do I have to list everything that I own in my estate?

You do not have to do it, but if in case you are giving your possession as a gift to someone then it needs to be listed in the will.

Can I gift to charities?

Yes, but if you are a Muslim the maximum of your will you can make to a charity is 1/3rd of your estate.

Can I set age limits when gifts can be received?

Yes, you can do this.

My husband and I leave everything to each other in our Wills, but if we die at the same time everything goes to out two small children. My concern is that our joint assets plus life insurance would result in a hefty inheritance tax bill for them. How can we avoid this?

Yes you can leave everything to each other in wills. Yes again if god forbid you both pass away the benefits are going to children and if they are minor you will have to appoint backup trusties & guardians to look after the children. When it comes to matters like inheritance tax you should take independent tax advice for this.

Who can automatically become a Guardian?

Usually between husband and wife they become guardian of the children but if you are going to appoint someone else you need to list this down into the will.

Can a Husband and Wife Make a Joint Last Will and Testament?

Theoretically you cannot do it infact technically you should not do it but there are some countries that allow the person to do it, but in UAE the concept is one will per person so you have a single will or a mirror will which is husband and wife.

How can I protect my own children if my partner remarried after my death?

That is very difficult because if you will everything to your partner and they remarry once the assets have exchanged then the surviving partner (Beneficiary) controls the assets unless you put into a trust which means that there is some protection for the children but this is why we recommend you leave 50% of your estate to your partner and 50% of your estate to your children.

When should a review my Will?

If should be reviewed specially if there is any changes in the circumstances for example you get married or you are having a divorce, want to change the guardians, desire to change trustees, executors or beneficiaries.

Am I able to cancel my last Will and testament?

Yes you can cancel your will anytime

Do I need to Sign my Last Will in the Presence of Witnesses?

If you are dealing with Dubai court in particular you notarize the will and no witnesses are required.

How long is a last Will and testament valid?

It is valid life time

Can My Last Will and Testament be changed After I have died?

Yes Via a “Deed of Verification”

Can I change my Will after I have signed it?

You can change the will after you sign it but please store all the old copies.

How can estate planning help protect my assets?

Estate planning assures that your estate goes to the right person as per your desires, but more importantly if you have children below the age of 18 you should make a will to make sure the custody of the child goes to the right person rather than court deciding on it.

Can I draft my own will?

Yes, but it is not recommended because it is better you speak to a professional who knows the concept of drafting a will also a professional would be able to advice you better.

Do I have to be a resident of Dubai to draft a will?

You do not need to be a resident of Dubai to draft a will if you own an asset in UAE you can draft a will.

Do my executors and guardians have to be residents of Dubai?


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