Monday 21, May 2018 by Jessica Combes

Rapid enforcement of DIFC wills cases as new law gains traction

 

DIFC Wills Service welcomes smooth implementation of new rules to speed up enforcement of Wills for non-Muslim residents and investors 

Marking its third anniversary, Dubai’s DIFC Wills Service Centre has welcomed the swift implementation of a new law which is streamlining the enforcement of inheritance cases in the courts. The Wills Service Centre (WSC) was established in 2015 and has now registered over 4,000 Wills to clients in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. 

Dubai’s Law No 15 was passed in late 2017 and was designed to clarify the administration of Wills for non-Muslims with assets in Dubai. Its impact has been immediate, with eight DIFC Wills enforced by Dubai Courts in the early part of this year. 

“The passing of Law No. 15, and its swift implementation through the coordinated procedures of the DIFC and Dubai Courts, has delivered legal clarity and triggered a significant acceleration in the processing of inheritance cases,” said Sean Hird, Director of the DIFC Wills Service, adding that it reaffirms the security and certainty that is achieved through registering a Will at the DIFC Courts giving both residents and investors the ability to protect their families and their inheritance.   

Dubai was the first jurisdiction in the MENA region to allow non-Muslims to create a Will allowing assets to be distributed according to personal choice. 

Without a recognised and enforceable Will, a person’s assets will be divided according to the UAE’s Shari’ah-based law, whether or not they are Muslim. Property is distributed among family members according to a pre-determined formula.

“We welcome Dubai’s continuing commitment to providing homeowners and investors with the certainty that they can hand on their estate in the same way as they would if they were governed by their home country inheritance laws.  Those non-Muslims owning property, a business or holding significant assets in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah should seek the security of a DIFC Will,” Hird said. 

New figures released on the third anniversary of the WSC’s foundation also show that Indian investors now register the most Wills, followed by British, French, Italian and Swiss. The WSC’s new online portal accounts for five per cent of the total Wills registered.

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