When you leave the UAE, your assets will continue to be subject to the laws of your home country. However, the UAE law applies to your estate. Thus, having a will in Dubai or UAE is the easiest way to ensure that your assets are dealt with according to your wishes. If you have moved to the UAE, you should have one. You may even wish to opt out of Sharia law if you live in the country.
A will in the UAE has several tax-efficient advantages. First, it protects your assets from personal taxation. Second, you can establish a foundation. The UAE has no inheritance tax regime. The rules vary by Emirate. The founder of a foundation chooses the council that will oversee the foundation. Third, you can create a foundation to manage employee pension plans and company share schemes. Lastly, a foundation is tax-efficient and enables you to ensure that your assets are used for charitable purposes. In addition to the tax-efficient advantages of a will in the UAE, a foundation can also provide for inter-generational legacy planning.
Option to opt-out of Shariah law:
The UAE Personal Law applies to non-Muslim expatriates. Non-Muslims are entitled to special provisions according to their community, which enable them to choose their law and avoid Sharia. For example, inheritance is governed by Article 17 of the Civil Law, and the law that the testator followed at the time of his or her death is used for the distribution of the assets.
Ability to include worldwide assets:
If you’ve ever wondered how to include worldwide assets in your UAE will, it may surprise you to learn that the UAE’s Wills Service Centre allows non-Muslims to make their wishes known. Under the UAE’s testamentary freedom laws, non-Muslims can now make their wishes known by drafting an English language will and registering it in the relevant jurisdiction. A will can include UAE assets as well as assets located outside of the country.
Ability to appoint a guardian:
To appoint a guardian, a person must be mentally and physically capable of fulfilling their responsibilities. In UAE, a guardian must be appointed by the court and be able to perform their duties. The court may appoint several guardians and divide their responsibilities among them. In a guardianship case, the court will first determine the person’s capacity to make decisions.