Question: I am a non-Muslim who has a wife and two children. I am also a partner in a private company with 40 per cent share-holding. Am I entitled to make a will for my wife? What are the procedures for ratification of this commandment? In the event of my death, does my wife have the right to enter the UAE under this will?
Answer: A non-Muslim expatriate in the UAE may register his or her Will with the court which has jurisdiction in the UAE, [such as the] Notary Public - Dubai Court or DIFC Wills Service Centre of DIFC Court. The execution of a Will will be effected in writing, or by using meaningful verbal expressions or intelligible signs if the testator is unable to write.
A Will may be made in favour of a named or unnamed person; a living person or an unborn child whose existence is ascertained; or an identified or unidentified group, and may be made for charitable purposes. The wording of a Will may be non-restrictive or restrictive. A Will may stipulate that it will take effect on a future date, and may be conditional or contingent upon the satisfaction of any requirements. In addition, a Will may apply to the whole Estate or to any part thereof.
Article 6 (a) of Dubai Wills Law states: “A register known as the ‘Register of Wills of non-Muslims’ has been created at the Dubai Courts and at the DIFC Courts for the purpose of registering Wills of non-Muslims.
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you have the right to make such Will for your wife for all of your properties and assets in the UAE and to register it in Dubai either in UAE courts or DIFC.
The wife as a legal heir has the full right to inherit the company and the assets owned by you after your death. The ownership of willed property, assets, etc., will be transferred to the beneficiary of the Will pursuant to an order or a judgment issued by the Competent Court.