It shall also cover the obligations of the deceased which can be paid off from his estate. Further, whatever is residue, post payment of funeral obligations, shall be divided among the heirs. Following are the ways under which the property will be distributed:. However, if a foreign national dies without a will, the Civil Law and the Personal Law will allow the courts to distribute the assets of the deceased according to the principles of Shariah.
According to Article 17 1 of the Civil Law, the inheritance will be regulated by the law of the deceased during the time of his death, whereas, Article 17 5 of the Civil Law states that the UAE law will be applicable on non-Muslim expatriate wills regarding the property located in the country.
In addition to other legal limitations, Christians were not considered equals to Muslims and several prohibitions were placed on them. The entity previously accepted only wills with assets in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. With no civil marriage, women stuck in these situations have even less recourse to help from the courts. Share on Whatsapp. One-third of the property will be given to: The mother, if the deceased has no successor or if there is no one else to succeed; 2 or more of mother's children, if there is no successor or father or grandfather, the property shall be divided equally; The paternal grandfather, if he concurs the estate of germane or consanguine brother and in the absence of forced heirs; F. Marriage Contract Mahr.
In addition to this, Article 1 2 of the Personal Law states that the law will be applicable to non-Muslim unless he elects otherwise. Thus, if a non-Muslim foreign national die in the state are leaving the real property or other assets in the country, his home country law can be applicable, and his heirs can request the court accordingly. However, there is a restriction on dealing with the assets for property located in UAE.
As mentioned before, the foreign nationals are empowered to choose the law of the deceased during the time of his death, reference Article 17 1 of Civil Law and Article 1 2 of the Personal Law. The heirs must at the first appearance in the court, should request the court for application of home country law of the deceased.
Further to this, Article of the Personal Law, the heirs seeking inheritance shall submit the following documents:. Whereas, if the heirs have a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction, they shall submit the same duly attested, notarized and translated in Arabic for execution.
Although the Personal Law allows the request for application of home country law, the Law does not expressly set aside the civil code, which leads to a level of uncertainty as to whether a non-Muslim will be considered under Shariah Law or under home country law. Upon the death of a partner or a shareholder in a company established within UAE, if relevant documents are not present, the shares will be divided according to the Shariah Law. However, if in a limited liability company LLC a local shareholder dies, in the absence of a shareholders agreement or any specific clause in the memorandum of association, the shares will be given to his heirs.
Whereas, in case of a sole proprietorship, joint ventures, or free zone companies, the transfer or succession will be according to the local laws for probate which might not be according to the will of the deceased or his heirs. Since UAE does not recognize the right of survivorship; the shares will not be passed automatically to the rest of the shareholders or the family members. It is essential for companies to have either shareholder's agreement or wills in place to decide the transfer of their shares in the company according to their wish, which is in harmony with the existing shareholders as well.
The Law of Shariah does recognize wills drafted by Muslim only up to a certain extent. It is similar to that of a non-Muslim will with following prerequisites:. Can a foreign non-Muslim expatriate draft and legalize his will in the country?
What law is applicable to the wills drafted by non-Muslim foreign national? A will drafted by a non-Muslim is recognized by the local courts upon the death of the testator, only if the will is duly notarized by the Public Notary in UAE. The will shall be translated in Arabic and must provide all the details pertaining to the assets of the testator along with bank account details.
The will must be registered before the Judicial Department of the relevant Emirate. Further, the testator can opt for his home country law, while determining the division of assets, upon his death. According to Article of the Federal Law, Number 18 of concerning the Commercial Transactions Law the Commercial Law , a joint account is an account owned equally by co-signatories unless they specify a different proportion. It is a common misconception among the residents that upon the death of one co-signatory the sole account holder can dispose of the proceeds from the bank account.
However, as mentioned under Article 4 of the Commercial Law, upon the death of co-signatory, the bank must be notified within 10 days from the date of his death. Upon such notification, the bank will freeze the account until the successors are appointed. The court will accordingly divide the proceeds of the bank account either according to the proportion of the deceased in the account, and if the account holders did not mention the proportion, the half of the proceeds would be given to the heirs.
The Personal Law and the Civil Law is vague and ambiguous with regards to the property owned by the foreign national. Thus, it is always prudent to have a registered will within the country. UAE does not have a concept of "right of survivorship" wherein, the surviving owner becomes the complete owner of the property, thus, in case of a jointly-owned property by foreign national along with his wife, the local courts have the right to decide upon the matter and divide the estate accordingly.
It is advisable to foreign nationals to appoint a lawyer specialized in drafting wills to protect their family and assets from future eventualities. UAE is promulgating new laws in order to accommodate the registration of non-Muslim wills, such as DIFC wills and probate registry through which the testator can dispose of their assets according to his wish. The procedure is relatively simple and efficient for non-Muslims to pass their estate upon their demise freely. The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter.
Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Last Updated: 7 March Hassan Elhais. Your LinkedIn Connections at Firm. What law governs the inheritance on the demise of UAE national or an expatriate?
How the law of inheritance in UAE differs from other jurisdictions? Under the law of inheritance, who holds the right to claim the deceased's estate?
It further imposes several conditions on who can become an heir mentioned as below: Any illegitimate children and adopted children will not be considered as heirs; Non-Muslim cannot benefit from the estate of a Muslim; A person committing murder to benefit from the estate will be ineligible to claim the estate; Divorced women cannot claim from ex-husband's estate unless they are in "iddat" period. How will the estate be divided among the heirs of a deceased Muslim under the law?
Following are the ways under which the property will be distributed: A. One-fourth of the property will be given to: The husband, if the wife has a descendant; The wife, if the husband has no descendant.
One eight of the property will be given to: The wife, if the husband has a successor. Two-third of the property will be given to: 2 or more daughters, if deceased has no son; Two or more daughters of son, or hi successors, of the deceased, has no son, grandson of the same degree; 2 or more germane sisters, if there is no germane brother, successor, father or grandfather; 2 or more consanguine sister, if there is no consanguine brother, a germane brother or sister, a successor, father or grandfather.
One-third of the property will be given to: The mother, if the deceased has no successor or if there is no one else to succeed; 2 or more of mother's children, if there is no successor or father or grandfather, the property shall be divided equally; The paternal grandfather, if he concurs the estate of germane or consanguine brother and in the absence of forced heirs; F. One-sixth of the property will be given to: The father upon concurring with succeeding descendent; The paternal grandfather, if the deceased has a successor, if the forced heir is present, if his share is less than one-sixth or one-third of the reminder or if nothing is residual post taking his forced share; Mother, along with successor of deceased or with 2 or more brother and sisters; Grandmother, if she is not ineligible for an inheritance; 5.
How will the estate be divided among the heirs of a deceased non-Muslim foreign national under the law? Do heirs of a deceased foreign national has the right to choose the law under which the estate shall be divided? Further to this, Article of the Personal Law, the heirs seeking inheritance shall submit the following documents: The death certificate, duly legalized; Last domicile of the deceased; Will of the deceased, duly authorized. What will be status of shares owned by either the UAE national or a foreign expatriate in mainland or a free zone company upon their death?
Do Shariah Law recognize wills for Muslims? What is law pertaining to the joint account on the demise of one co-signatory? Can the surviving co-signatory dispose of all the proceeds from such account? What will happen to the jointly-owned property of husband and wife, upon the demise of the either? How can foreign nationals protect their family and assets? Do you have a Question or Comment?
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Events from this Firm. More from this Firm. More from this Author. An absolute monarchy, ruled for 51 years by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, oil-rich Brunei first announced the new penal code in , but full implementation has been delayed. Bolkiah, 72, is the world's second-longest reigning monarch and ranks as one of the world's wealthiest people. The new law mostly applies to Muslims, though some aspects will also apply to non-Muslims. It stipulates the death penalty for a number of offences, including rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming the Prophet Muhammad.
It also introduces public flogging as punishment for abortion as well as amputation for theft and criminalises exposing Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion other than Islam. The small Muslim-majority country, sandwiched between two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo, had introduced penalties in stages, all of which come into force on Wednesday. The laws will make Brunei the first country in East or Southeast Asia to impose the new penal code at the national level, joining several mostly Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia. The decision to push ahead with the implementation of the laws come after a long line of politicians, rights groups and celebrities, including actor George Clooney and musician Elton John, condemned the new laws.
Clooney and John are among those calling for a boycott of hotels owned by the sultanate, which include the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Dorchester in London and the Plaza Athenee in Paris. No place in the 21st century for this kind of law! Governments have also weighed in with the United States saying the punishments run counter to Brunei's "international human rights obligations". France and Australia also called on Brunei to renounce the measures, with both governments expressing concern. Guterres "believes that human rights are to be upheld in relations to every person everywhere without any kind of discrimination," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.