Our lawyers are registered with the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Dubai Legal Affairs Department and are active members of STEP. We are a fully digital law firm and are able to arrange video conferencing if this suits your needs.
How can TWS Legal help me with a DIFC Will?
DIFC Will drafting and UAE estate planning is our flagship service and are our expertise. We have a diverse and multi-lingual team ready to assist you in preparing your bespoke Will, meticulously detailing your wishes to protect your property and assets for future generations.
Why do I need a DIFC Will?
If you are a non-Muslim and you die without a registered non-Muslim Will, your assets in the UAE will be distributed according to the UAE’s pre-determined formula and not necessarily in accordance with your wishes.
Furthermore, joint assets are not passed on to the survivor. Instead, each joint owner is viewed as a shareholder of the asset and the deceased’s share of the asset will be passed onto their surviving family members in the divisions set out under UAE law. In relation to guardianship, Shari’ah law dictates that a husband’s father and then closest male relative would become automatic legal guardians of any children surviving him.
The DIFC Courts Wills Registry mirrors the common law jurisdiction of England and Wales and provides for testamentary freedom as opposed to the pre-determined formula under UAE law.
What are the types of DIFC Wills?
There are five types of DIFC Wills that can be registered:
- Guardianship Will – This allows you to register a DIFC Will solely concerned with the appointment of guardians for your children.
- Property Will – for real estate only. This Will allows you to appoint beneficiaries for a maximum of five properties (or a share in up to five real estate properties) situated in the UAE.
- Business Owners Will – You can appoint beneficiaries for a maximum of 5 separate shareholdings in any free zone or UAE onshore company situated in the UAE. The company in which your shares are held must be incorporated in the UAE and established under UAE Federal Law.
- Financial Assets Will – This Will can include up to ten separate bank accounts or shares in up to ten different bank accounts registered in your sole name or in joint names. The account/s must be held with a bank or brokerage firm and the branch in which the account/s are registered must be in the UAE.
- Full Will – encompasses both the distribution of assets and appointment of guardians.
What are the eligibility requirements for registering a DIFC Will?
To be eligible to register a Will with the DIFC Courts Wills Registry, you must be:
- an adult (over 21 years),
- have assets in the UAE,
Any children for whom you wish to appoint guardians must be habitually resident in Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.
Can TWS Legal Consultants register Wills through the DIFC virtual registration system?
As of 22nd March 2020, DIFC Wills can be registered virtually, either by virtual registration ( for specific DIFC Wills) or via video conferencing for full DIFC Wills.
To register a full DIFC Will the testator together with two witnesses, will join a video conferencing call with a WSC Authorised Officer on a confirmed date and time.
Usual procedures will be followed during the video conferencing call of reviewing the Will with the testator, and WSC Authorised Officer at which point the testator and witnesses will then proceed with their signatures on the printed copy of the Will. The signed Will must then be scanned and emailed to the Service Centre for sealing.
Our lawyers will advise and assist you throughout this process.
To book a complimentary consultation with one of our Wills, legacy planning, and inheritance lawyers, please contact us: