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Keren Bobker explains how foreign wills work under UAE law

BM and her husband made their wills under Australian law. Do they need new ones in the UAE to protect their children? Keren Bobker has the answer.

My husband and I have wills which we arranged before moving to Abu Dhabi and they are correct under Australian law. We don’t own a home in the UAE and only expect to be here a few years before returning home. I have heard that I need a second will for the UAE and that I need to do something about protecting my children, so can you explain and tell us what we need to do? B M, Abu Dhabi

Provided you have a properly written will in accordance with home country rules and you do not own property or have other substantial assets in the UAE, I see no reason why you would need another will. No doubt your current will specifies a long-term guardian for your children should both you and your husband die, but that person is not likely to be living here. In the unfortunate event that you both die while in the UAE, I recommend that you consider arranging what is known as a “Letter of Wishes” to appoint an interim guardian. While the UAE authorities would arrange for the children to be looked after until the permanent guardian can make it to the UAE to collect them, the interim guardian should be someone in the UAE who could take them in immediately so that they are being looked after by someone they know. This is a simple matter to organise. In addition, anyone with young children would be wise to have substantial life cover in place.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com

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