DUBAI // In a land of opportunity like the UAE, it is not surprising so many expatriates have deepened their roots with freehold property and business investments. But what happens when an expatriate dies here?
How will a lifetime of assets be divided, and who gets the end-of-service benefits?
Without a legally registered will in place disbursement of a resident's assets will likely be made according to Sharia law, although it may also be done according to UAE federal law or international law.
If you want a different result, legal experts say it is wise to hire an estate planner and draw up a will. Mohammed Marria, a senior estate planner in Dubai, added: "It is advisable to hire a lawyer who understands the inheritance laws in your home country."
Before meeting with the estate planner, think about how you want your estate distributed. You'll also need to identify an executor for your will, as well as interim and permanent guardians of your children in the event both parents die.
Gather the full names, contact numbers and passport numbers for all of these individuals.
The required documents include a copy of your passport with valid visa, and the same for your spouse and children. You should also gather evidence of all your assets and liabilities, including details of any business interests or shares (including trade licences).
Once drawn up, the will must be attested at your consulate or embassy in the UAE.
The attested will is then translated into Arabic at an authorised typing centre and, finally, attested by the courts' Notary Public.