x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

How UAE estate is shared out if there is no will

Keren Bobker advises a Dubai resident who owns property in the emirate but has no will.

My husband and I live in Dubai, and we have an apartment here. As we bought it in my sole name, do we really need a local will? I was led to believe that if I die it will automatically go to my husband. Do we really need this expense? NP, Dubai

To my knowledge there is not usually an issue with a wife’s assets being largely passed to her husband in the event of her death, but I sought advice from a lawyer who deals with these matters. Tasleem Sayani of James Berry Associates advises: “Sharia law sets out how a woman’s assets ought to be distributed. This is: mother of the deceased receives 1/6 of the estate, father of the deceased receives 1/6 of the estate, husband of the deceased receives 1/4 of the estate, children of the deceased receive the remainder of the estate, with the sons of the deceased inheriting double the share of the daughters. If a person does not wish the above distribution to apply, they would be advised to put a will in place dealing with their UAE estate or at least ensure that any other will refers to the UAE estate/assets and then consider translating this to Arabic and re-signing it at the local notary public.” When considering a valuable asset such as property, it is wise to take the appropriate precautions.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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