Cre­at­ing se­cu­rity for the most im­por­tant as­set — one’s chil­dren

Bri­tish fam­ily shares ex­pe­ri­ence of draw­ing up a will after mov­ing to the UAE from UK A lawyer can draft a will ac­cord­ing to the tes­ta­tor’s na­tional laws.

Gulf News - - Special Report -

There is also the op­tion to have it done at the No­tary Pub­lic of the Dubai Courts for roughly Dh2,250. Wills for prop­erty in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah may also be writ­ten in English by duly li­censed le­gal con­sul­tants and be reg­is­tered with the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre (DIFC) Wills and Pro­bate Reg­istry.

Get­ting a will done in Dubai to pro­vide “peace of mind” for one’s “most im­por­tant as­set” — their chil­dren — is a fairly easy process, a Bri­tish fam­ily said. Si­mon Brad­ford moved to Dubai from the UK three years ago with his wife, Natasha, and sons Felix and Sa­muel to “have a bit of a change” in a dif­fer­ent coun­try and meet new cul­tures.

He said he and his wife are en­joy­ing their fam­ily life in Dubai but are not com­pro­mis­ing on the fu­ture of their chil­dren should any­thing un­to­ward hap­pen to them.

The Brad­fords shared in a video their ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing a will and reg­is­tered it with the Dubai gov­ern­ment-sanc­tioned reg­istry. The video, pro­duced by the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre Wills and Pro­bate Reg­istry, gives the pub­lic an idea about the process of draft­ing and reg­is­ter­ing wills in Dubai.

In the UAE, the right of sur­vivor­ship, where as­sets are passed on to the sur­viv­ing joint owner upon the death of the other, does not ap­ply. Non-Mus­lim ex­pa­tri­ates will then have to draft a will to en­sure that their as­sets go to their de­sired ben­e­fi­ciary and the cus­tody of their chil­dren are given to their nom­i­nated guardians.

“The ini­tial in­ter­est [in draw­ing up a will] was re­ally about mak­ing sure that in the worst-case sce­nario, the kids would al­ways be looked after, that they would fall into a com­mon law process of be­ing looked after by guardians lo­cally,” Si­mon said.

Natasha, who ini­ti­ated to have the will made in the UAE, said: “We had wills sorted in the UK any­way, but we knew that we were mov­ing to a dif­fer­ent coun­try, so it was sen­si­ble for us to have wills in place in case any­thing hap­pened to ei­ther one of us.”

“Si­mon trav­els a lot due to the na­ture of his work and some­times I am trav­el­ling too, so we wanted to be se­cure and safe in the knowl­edge [that mea­sures are in place for any even­tu­al­ity],” she added.

Natasha said they first set up stan­dard wills with a lawyer who then di­rected them to the DIFC Wills and Pro­bate to get the orig­i­nal sig­na­tures of the guardians. “En­gag­ing with the lawyer was easy, it was a quick process. Then go­ing to DIFC was again a re­ally sim­ple, quick process,” Si­mon said.

“Ab­so­lutely they [chil­dren] are the most im­por­tant as­set,” Si­mon said. “I think we’re now look­ing at how to in­clude other as­sets into the will. So again, we have as­sets in coun­try, whether that’s cars, pos­ses­sions, cash in the bank etc”

“We do not want the worst-case sce­nario to tran­spire, of course. But know­ing that we have the safety blan­ket, the pro­tec­tion, that we’re in a sys­tem that we know and which peo­ple un­der­stand, ab­so­lutely give us the peace of mind.”

The will can be no­tarised by the tes­ta­tor’s em­bassy and then at­tested at the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs in the UAE.

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