The UAE is the global destination for millions of foreigners who have made UAE their home. In this process, many foreigners buy property in the UAE, make investments and generally have interests in the country. On the death of the expat, the devolution of his assets may come into question. This is understood as inheritance.

What are the Laws in the UAE?

In the UAE, inheritance is governed under the UAE Personal Status Law and the Civil Transactions Law, called the Federal Law 28 of 2005 On Personal Status and Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on Civil Transactions Law, respectively.

The practical implications of inheritance are often complex, especially when the deceased is a foreigner and has children and / or assets in the country. The issue becomes even more complicated if a will has not been prepared by the deceased.

To ease this process, it is necessary to hire an experienced inheritance lawyer or legal firms in the UAE who are adept at handling inheritance matters, including drafting and registering wills.

What does an Inheritance Lawyer Do?

An Inheritance Lawyer has the objective of ensuring that the assets of the deceased pass on to those persons whom he had wished. Many times, expats do not have measures in place which would adequately protect his assets and family. For this purpose, it is important for an expat to meet with an inheritance lawyer during his lifetime to understand his options and take actions accordingly.

An Inheritance Lawyer will undertake the following.

  • Understand the Issues: The lawyer will understand the different kinds of assets which the expat has. These may include money in the banks, investments in the form of stocks, shares, bonds, properties bought, amongst others.
  • Explain the Laws: The inheritance lawyer will then explain the applicable laws, including the new changes, to the expat. Expats may now be permitted to refer to the laws of their country for their inheritance matters, but that is subject to specified conditions as set out in the law.
  • Suggestions by the Inheritance Lawyer: The inheritance lawyer will then suggest adopting certain options to safeguard the assets. These options could include drafting a will and getting it registered in Dubai, translating and getting the will legalized, etc. It is crucial to note that access to bank accounts of the expats may become restricted once the expat dies.
  • Other Considerations: Other considerations will also have to be taken into account. For example, if the expat passes away without drafting or registering a will, then an inheritance lawyer should be hired immediately after. In this case, the inheritance lawyer may suggest to file a succession certificate application, followed by an inheritance file. Subsequently, the property may be divided among the heirs in accordance with their shares stated in the succession certificate.

All of this should be discussed in detail with an Inheritance Lawyer in Dubai. That said, it is important to hire a very experienced inheritance lawyer who knows the complexities and intricacies of inheritance law in the UAE. Do your research, read client testimonials, speak to friends and colleagues, have consultation meetings and then take a decision on finalizing an inheritance lawyer.