United Arab Emirates is undergoing various natural as well as artificial developments and it is growing fast. Over the last decade all of the 7 emirates have claimed to have something astonishing from Burj Khalifa (Dubai) To Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Abu Dhabi), UAE is on the aggressive growth cycle. That is the reason why the UAE is welcoming thousands of Businessman, investors, entrepreneurs and job seekers from all over the globe to live, grow and invest.
While enjoying a tax free income and luxurious lifestyle in the UAE, the majority of the expats tend to forget that, after all the United Arab Emirates is an Islamic country. No matter how liberal this country goes on the expats adapting westernized culture, being an Islamic state the emirates strictly follow the sharia law.
Unfortunately, death is a bitter truth of life and the question is, In what circumstances you are leaving your family behind when you meet your final day?
What happens if you pass away without a Will in the UAE?
1. Sharia law will apply regardless of your religion
2. Custody of children may go to family friend instead of wife
3. Immediate bank accounts are frozen
4. Dependent visas are cancelled
5. Benefits of insurance policies may be passed on to your estate instead of the wife and kids
6. Ex Partners (husband/wife) may claim your hard earn money
7. Children, wife may get nothing
8. Tax authorities can ask for 40% of your money
9. Family arguments because no one knows what they get
Sharia Law is quite complex & confusing, that is the reason why drafting a Will demands someone professional with a special clause integrated into the document addressing your specific desires. A Will is basically a document that states how your estate will be distributed after you die. You may already have a Will drafted in your home country, but that Will is not going to work in UAE, as the rules and regulations are different here. An expat is expected to have a separate Will drafted by the legal authorities in order to get his/her desires regarded by the Judge of DIFC or Dubai court.
Drafting a Will in the UAE is just a piece of Jigsaw Puzzle. There are some other aspects one must consider in order to overcome strict estate distribution laws.
1. Have an offshore bank account
2. Get a life insurance policy and mention it in the Will, addressing the beneficiary
3. Set up a separate visa for your partner
4. List of your assists & liabilities
5. Last but not the least STOP HIDING
There have been so many cases in which husband dies and when the wife goes to court to claim the property, she has very less or no knowledge about what her husband owns. At this moment, millions of dollars are resting in the Dubai banks unclaimed. So instead of hiding tell your partner about your assets, bank accounts, insurance policies, and cash placement above of all mention all of your monetary possessions, movable and immovable assets in your Will with respective names of beneficiaries. This step will not only assure safe distribution of your estate, but will also prevent within family arguments because everyone will know who gets what.
Do not leave things undone, act before it is too late. A Will is not just a document protecting your assets or monetary possessions, in-fact this simple piece of paper also safeguards your family when you are gone.