All legal services are provided exclusively by Merritt Legal Consultants FZ LLC.
We have experience and in-depth knowledge of the federal laws on inheritance in force in the United Arab Emirates regarding non-Muslims as well as inheritance law in France and Italy and other European standards.
This is why we are qualified to advise and assist our clients in the process of transmission and management of their property in the event of their death, in order to best protect their families.
We provide a complete and personalized legal service: analysis of the family and property situation, drafting of the will, in accordance with the national law of the testator and local laws, and registration at the Court of Dubai and the DIFC.
We are registered with the DIFC as a law firm authorized to draft wills.
Why register a will?
If you are going to live in the Emirates, it is necessary to think about estate issues before your arrive and have a will drawn up. In the absence of this document and in the event of your death, the rules applied will be those of the Emirates, which may not necessarily be what you want. The inheritance law in the Emirates is based on Sharia Law. If you are a non-Muslim, foreign resident, this could cause problems for your heirs.
The registration of a will registered in Dubai with the DIFC is advisable in the following two cases:
- You are not a Muslim and / or you were not born a Muslim;
- You have assets located in the United Arab Emirates, real estate, bank account, securities account, car, boat, etc., whether you are a resident or a non-resident of the Emirates;
- You have children under 21 years old who live in Dubai.
You can also register your will with the Dubai Court (Notary Public), particularly if you do not have real estate.
If you have not registered a will with the DIFC, in the event of your death:
- Sharia will apply to the distribution of your estate in the Emirates and therefore for the distribution of your assets. In addition to the duration and cost of the procedure (up to several years in the event of litigation with the heirs, all assets being frozen during the time of a judge’s decision), a distribution according to Sharia rules may not suit the wishes of the deceased or their heirs (the surviving spouse has 1 / 8th, the boys have twice the shares of the girls, the parents/ extended family can claim part of the inheritance, etc.).
- Children less than 21 years old could be entrusted to a family member different from the one desired (only men have parental authority according to Sharia) or, in extreme cases, placed under the protection of Dubai Municipality services while a Dubai judge appoints a caretaker.
If you are married, it is possible to register a “mirror will” which will transfer your assets from one spouse to the other and vice versa.
If you are resident in the Emirates and have assets in the European Union, we also advise you to register a will in the country of your nationality (France, Belgium, Switzerland, etc.), in order to avoid application of local law for your assets located in Europe. Indeed, since August 17, 2015, the one and only criterion used to determine the law applicable to the succession of nationals of the European Union, is that of the deceased’s usual residence.
We can assist you with:
- drawing up the will for your assets located in the Emirates, advising you in particular about:
- The distribution of your assets in the event of succession according to your wishes and in accordance with the inheritance rules to be applied to avoid any litigation in the long term;
- The choice of the executor of the will;
- Childcare (temporary and permanent);
- Drawing up the will for your assets located in the European Union;
- Registering this will in Dubai with the DIFC or the Court of Dubai (Notary Public).
The head lawyer at Merritt Group, Mrs. Josephine D’Angelo, is a registered Will Draftsmen, authorized to draft wills under the DIFC court.
Wills and Testaments
Here is the list of our rates for the preparation of wills in Dubai.