Whilst Dubai property sales continue to grow year-on-year, only a small percentage of overseas investors and residents are choosing to protect their property assets through a DIFC will. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A new property will has been developed online specifically for non-Muslim property owners in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. They can now draw up their will and register it in Dubai for a quick and hassle-free succession.

Despite the continuous year-on-year growth of property sales in Dubai, only a small percentage of overseas investors and residents are choosing to protect their property assets by drafting a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will.

In the UAE, distributing inheritance classified as movable assets — such as cars, jewellery, shared stocks, cash and bonds, is based on the deceased’s national laws, according to Article 17 of the Civil Transactions Law. But immovable assets, such as real estate property, are governed by Sharia.

Without a will, assets of non-Muslims will likely be distributed based on the Sharia, which comes as a form of forced heirship that favours male members in the family.

Figures from the Dubai Land Department (DLD) in 2016 reveal that Dh44 billion was invested in the Dubai real estate sector by foreign investors, with western and Indian investors leading the way. Many of these investors are eligible to benefit from a DIFC will, but are not taking the necessary steps to secure the succession of their property in line with their wishes.

The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry’s (WPR) new online property will aims to change this by enabling investors to draw up a will from anywhere in the world for up to five properties. This can be accessed at www.difcprobate.ae and completed online within 30 minutes.

The online property will has been designed to ensure a quick, easy, and convenient way of securing one’s fixed assets in the two Emirates. Once submitted, there is one final step — signature for registration and witnessing — to take place on-site at the Registry in Dubai.

Sean Hird, Director, DIFC Wills & Probate Registry, said they have simplified the online property will for Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah property owners to secure immediate protection, and give investors the freedom to dispose of real estate assets according to their wishes.

“Designed to match user needs — with features such as including different sets of first- and second-choice beneficiaries for example, and screens optimised for smartphone formats — the online property will helps property investors and owners execute important decisions in just a few steps, a few clicks and a few minutes,” Hird said.