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Did you know that until very recently, the Sharia Law of Inheritance was applied automatically in respect of your late-estate, if you did not specifically exclude the application thereof by legal means, affecting your family, children and all your assets? Previously, in the UAE, upon your passing and regardless of your religious denomination or nationality this was the law pertaining to intestate succession.

Most recently however, it was announced by the UAE Government that non-Emiratis may now use the laws of their home countries in dealing with their personal estate affairs, such as that of inheritance, so that at the time of an expatriate’s death, wills and estates can be governed based on the inheritance laws of their country of nationality.

There exist inevitable complications which arise when an individual passes away, without having astutely planned for their estate – mainly that of not being able to control and decide how assets are re-appropriated and to who the guardianship and custody of minor children (under the age of 21 years) would go to. You have a choice as to how to govern your estate, be it by execution of a validly recognised UAE will or the establishment of a trust or a foundation. The right of decision remains entrusted to you.

Regardless of the complexity of your estate, KARM enables clients to pass on their assets in full accordance with their wishes, to ensure that their legacy is preserved and in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.

- Luna de Lange, Partner Attorney and Sectional Head of the Estates and Succession Planning Department at KARM

Our current health crisis is a stark reminder of fragility and unpredictability of life. It’s important to have a solid estate plan in place to ensure that your loved ones receive your assets without hassle or undue delay after your death.

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life, in the event that the person becomes incapacitated or passes away.

Succession planning is a strategy for passing on leadership roles, often the ownership of or shareholding in a company, to certain individuals, ensuring that businesses continue to run smoothly after a company’s most important people move on to new opportunities, retire, or pass away. This can also provide a liquidity event, enabling the transfer of ownership to others.

The UAE is a multicultural, friendly and compassionate country, which respects everyone’s rights and protects their assets fairly. The country’s laws facilitate the availability of varied security options, with the inclusion of both the Islamic and other religions and Emirati citizens and non-Emirati’s alike, to the exclusion of none.

This philosophy is embodied by legal provisions that enable the structuring of trusts and foundations and the ability to choose the benefactors under these specialised structures.

The UAE Civil Code and Federal Personal Status Law grants individuals, who are not of the Islamic faith and of non-Emirati nationality, the right to execute a will or set up a trust or foundation for their personal and familial needs, solely for the benefit of their chosen benefactors.

We at KARM Legal Consultants PVT Limited staunchly advocate the need for planning, structuring, future-proofing and timely execution of result-driven solutions, as part of a responsible risk mitigation strategy for individuals, families and businesses alike, to secure the integrity of our clients’ estates and personal affairs, providing peace of mind for them and for those who succeed them.

This minimises any possibility of uncertainty, familial or legal disputes, exorbitant probate costs or avoidable detrimental consequences through exposure to unknown or unwanted situations thereafter – not forgetting the already vulnerable situation that people find themselves in through the mourning of a loved one that has passed.

As tomorrow is not promised, we urge everyone who is a citizen or resident of the UAE, or who has any interest in the need of protection in the UAE (be it of a commercial or familial nature – such as children) to be proactive, take action now and invest in planning your estate.

Regardless of the complexity of your estate, KARM enables clients to pass on their assets in full accordance with their wishes, to ensure that their legacy is preserved and in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Please feel free to contact KARM’s specialists via: Luna@karmadv.comManav@Karmadv.com;


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