Planning for your death is just as important as planning how you live. And effectively, planning how your assets will be divided among your survivors and relatives is essential to ensure your wishes are carried out.
For most expatriate workers living in the UAE, little thought is actually given to the necessary topic of estate planning. And because Sharia applies in the UAE, your assets may not be dispersed in accordance with your wishes unless you take every practical step to ensure compliance. This involves making a will, ensuring it is properly translated, testified and registered.
According to Sharia, a man’s assets are divided one-eighth to his spouse and the remaining seven-eighths between other male family members or a son getting double than a daughter. When a death occurs, having to sort out an estate is difficult enough without having to deal with family members on which your relatives may or may no be on speaking terms.
If there is any impetus required for sorting out your affairs now, bear in mind that a recent survey found that less than 20 per cent of residents in the UAE had compiled a last will and testament.
If you have a will from a foreign jurisdiction, it is essential to have that document attested by the appropriate legal and consular notaries and it needs to be translated into Arabic. As always, seek competent legal and professional advice. Your survivors will thank you for it when you are gone.