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.
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.