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Increasing numbers of Indian expats drawing up wills

British nationals were the largest group creating wills two years ago, with recent figures showing Indians in first place in 2017

Gulf News

Dubai — More Indian expats are taking legal steps to protect the wealth they have acquired in the UAE, recent figures show.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the UAE puts the spotlight on the country’s 2.8 million Indian population, with figures showing that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are now the largest single national group creating non-Muslim wills through the DIFC Wills Service Centre.

While British nationals were the largest group creating wills at the centre two years ago, 531 out of a total of 1,560 wills issued in 2017, were for NRIs.

“The NRI population in the UAE has worked very hard and thrived in the UAE in accumulating wealth and assets, often over several generations. Today they are important contributors to the country’s economy, and it is important that they take steps to ensure their wealth is passed on exactly as per their wishes,” said Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global Group.

The DIFC Wills Service Centre offers non-Muslims the option to pass on their assets as they choose. Under local UAE law, if your will is not registered, any assets in Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah are distributed in line with Sharia principles.

Latest figures released by the Dubai Land Department also show that Indians come second only to Emiratis in real estate investment, spending Dh15.6 billion in the Dubai market during 2017.

“We welcome the growing support of the Indian community in the UAE. Their increasing use of the DIFC Wills Service Centre shows a realistic and mature approach to transferring wealth between the generations,” said Sean Hird, Director, DIFC Wills Service Centre.

Five different will options are offered by the DIFC Wills Service Centre, covering property, free zone company shares, financial assets and also the guardianship of children.

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