Drawing a will
Question: I am a non-Muslim man. I have a wife and three children. I want to confer all my wealth on my wife through a will. Am I legally entitled to ratify such a will before the court, so that it can be executed in Dubai? What are the legal procedures required to ratify this will? Does the law require the consent of my children upon ratification and implementation? Please advise.
Answer: Firstly, You have the right to register and execute such will under ‘Law No 15 of 2017 on managing the estates of non-Muslims and executing their Wills in the emirate of Dubai’. The law included the establishment of a ‘Non-Muslim Wills Registry’ in Dubai Courts and Dubai International Financial Center, which guarantees non-Muslims the right to write their wills within a framework that ensures the implementation of their own laws.
Secondly, the will attestation and registration for non-Muslims is included in:
A) The section of ‘Notary Public: Wills for Non-Muslims’ at Dubai Courts.
B) At Dubai International Financial Center, in the section ‘Wills Service Department in the Financial Center’, which provides support to the centre’s courts in the process of registering wills for non-Muslims.
The conditions for the validity of wills under Article (9) of the above-mentioned law are:
A) Will shall be valid subject to the following conditions:
1. The willed property must be capable of being owned and used by the beneficiary of the will.
2. The testator must be of full capacity and must not be less than 21 years of age.
3. The testator must not be under interdiction for prodigality or imbecility unless the will is made for charitable purposes and his guardian obtains the relevant approval from the competent court.
4. The testator must not be prohibited from disposing of his or her property, and must not be declared bankrupt or insolvent.
5. The willed property must be owned by the testator.
6. The will must be enforceable.
7. The enjoyment of the willed property and the purpose for which it is bequeathed must be lawful.
8. The willed property must be existent and of a known or measurable amount at the time of death of the testator. Future assets may be bequeathed by a will if their existence is ascertainable.
9. The will must not contradict public order or morals.
B) Any interested party may request the interpretation of, or contest, a will before the competent court.
C) Where a will includes a condition that contradicts public order or moral, that condition will be null and void and the will shall remain valid.
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Lastly, the law doesn’t require the consent of your children upon registration but Article 9 of Law No 15 of 2017 mentions: Every interested person may request interpretation of the will or challenge its validity before the competent court, which will then take a decision according to its estimation and the documents submitted.