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The Parts And Conditions of A Valid Will in The UAE

Sept. 7, 2020


While writing a will is not obligatory for Muslims under the Sharia, legal consultants advise that a proper will be written to get an individual’s business, assets, and affairs in order ahead of their demise. This provides enough time to consider the kith and kin that are not qualified as heirs for inheritance; especially for those who come from a lower economic status.


What Is A Will Under The UAE Law?

According to article 240 of the Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005, a testament (will) is an act of disposition of the succession after the death of the testator. To put it simply, a will is a legal instrument created by a testator that specifies their entreaties or requests that concerns the distribution of their assets upon death. It also includes the executor or the person appointed by the testator to manage the distribution of these assets.


In general, in accordance with the Islamic Sharia, a will can go beyond financial affairs. It can also include the individual’s (testator’s) preferences on burial arrangements, payment of debt (if any), carrying out a pilgrimage on the testator’s behalf, and assigning a custodian to manage, in particular, the finances of the testator’s minor children. Further, a will can be left behind for charity work. 


The Major Components of A Will

Article 245, Chapter 1 of the Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 provides the fundamental elements of a will, which includes the following:


The Testator - The individual creating the will

Legatee - The individual/s or entity that receives the testator’s assets pursuant to the will created

Wording - The text on the document

The Bequeathed Property - This can include the testator’s possessions such as real estate, business, or money

Further in Article 246, the will can be written or in cases wherein the testator does not have the ability to express himself, a recognizable sign can also be used. In totality, the means of creating the will should be parallel to that of the testator’s wishes or desires to pass on his estate (assets).


What To Consider When Making A Valid Will

It should be noted however that with respect to Islamic Sharia, a will can never contain any entreaties that are against it. For instance, the Sharia dictates the legal heirs or an individual that has the legal right to the testator’s estate heedless of the existence or absence of a will.


A will can only become valid if the testator is of the legal age under the UAE law, which is 21 years currently. Other factors include the beneficiary being alive during the demise of the testator, the bequeathed estate written in the will must be legally owned by the testator, and finally, the value of the mentioned bequeathed should exceed one-third of the aggregate value of the testator’s asset(s).


Additionally, a will can be revoked under the following conditions written in article 254 and 255 of  Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005. These are as follows:


Article (254)

The testator has the complete capacity to revoke the will totally or partially


Article (255)

Should the beneficiary die prior to the death of the testator without accepting or rejecting the will, it shall devolve to their heir unless it is charged with impositions.


For further information about writing a will for muslims, non-muslims, nationals, and expats, talk to our highly qualified lawyers today at http://www.butiadv.com/contact.php.

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