A questioner asks: I am a business owner and a resident of Dubai. I am a non-Muslim and I have 3 boys and a girl. My question: Do I have the legal right to make a will where I want to give my entire property to my wife only, in addition to the company? What are the legal procedures necessary to ratify this will? Can it be executed immediately after death? Please advise.
To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that:
You have the legal right to make a will and leave all your assets, properties and money for your wife only.
Such will can be registered through the notary public of Dubai Courts and in the DIFC Courts in the Registers that are prepared for this purpose according to the procedures in force at the Department and known as “Register of Wills of non-Muslims”.
Once you make the will through these departments, it will be ratified automatically and be able to be executed after death through filing a suitcase to the department it was made through, even to the Dubai court (through the Non-Muslims Estates Case Filing) or to the DIFC Courts (to take the probate order and then to enforce it by way of filing an Enforcement of Probate application available in the Enforcement category).
In both cases the death of the testator must be acknowledged and a judgment shall be issued that all the estates and money become the ownership of the beneficiary of the will.
Article 11 of the Federal Law No 41 of 2022 regarding personal status law for non- Muslims, gave the foreign testator the right to leave a will to whomever deemed adequate, concerning his/ her assets ("The foreign testator has the right to leave a will to whomever deemed adequate, concerning all the assets belonging thereto in the State. In case of absence of a will, then half of the inheritance shall be entitled to the husband or wife and the other half shall be equally distributed among the children with no difference between males and females.
"In case the deceased has no children, then the inheritance shall equally belong to the parents thereof, or half of such inheritance shall be transferred to one the parents in case the other one is not present and the other half shall be granted to the siblings. In case of absence of the parents, then the inheritance shall be equally distributed between the siblings without distinction between males and females.")