What you all need to know about Muslim wills in the United Arab Emirates


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The main concern for Muslim expats in the UAE is whether Shariah law will allow them to make a will and transfer their property and money according to their preferences. In the United Arab Emirates, a Muslim will is an essential asset management document. The way in which Muslims in the UAE share their inheritance is determined by the number of living heirs. This article discusses the basic requirements that must be followed when drawing up a will under Shariah law.

Muslim Testament Law in the United Arab Emirates

The Muslim Testament in the United Arab Emirates is subject to Sharia law. The provisions on the Muslim will are provided for in Federal Law No. 28 on the Law of Persons.

What is a will or a will?

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In the legal sense, the will is also referred to as a will. According to Article 240 of the Civil Status Act, “a will is a legal document that regulates the succession after the death of the testator”.

Essential elements of a valid will

According to Article 245 of Federal Law No. 28 on the Law of Persons, the essential elements of a will are:

1. The wording of the testator (intention to inherit),
2. The testator (who makes a will),
3. The legatee (a person who receives part of a testator’s estate) and
4. The inherited wealth (Property that is the object of will).

Basics of a valid will

1. A valid will must be drawn up by a person of legal age (testator) who is at least 21 years old.
2. The beneficiary of a will must be alive at the time of the death of the testator.
3. The inherited property (s) of the testator must be his / her rightful property.
4. If the value of the inherited assets in the will exceeds one third of the total value of the testator’s estate, the will is only effective if the legal heirs of the testator agree.

What does Sharia say about Will?

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If you are a Muslim, Sharia law governs the disposal of your property after your death. Here are the key considerations to keep in mind when deciding to write your Muslim will in the United Arab Emirates:

1 Distribution of property

I. Inheriting assets up to a third: (Article 263 of the Personal Law)

A testator can give up to a third of his property to relatives who are not a legal heir or who can donate to charity or other purposes according to the rules of Sharia law without the consent of the legal heirs.

ii. Legacy of more than a third of the property: (Article 243 of the Law on Persons)

A will may only bequeath more than a third of the testator’s assets with the express consent of the legal heirs of the testator, as this can result in them receiving less than their legal entitlement to the estate. Since debts take precedence over the will, the value of the third is calculated when all debts related to the estate have been paid.

iii. If no third of the property is inherited:

If there is no legacy of up to a third of the estate, the entire estate will be divided among the remaining relatives according to the proportions set out in Sharia law.

For example. If A wishes to transfer half of the property to his wife, he may only do so if the surviving heirs agree and give their consent. Transfer of property on behalf of the wife is considered invalid without such permission.

2. Guardianship of minor children

The Sharia regulations on guardianship for underage children make it clear that the mother does not automatically have the guardianship of her own children if the father of the children dies. Guardianship is usually given to the child’s father as he is responsible for the child’s financial, moral, and physical well-being.

Under Article 156 of the Civil Status Act, a woman’s custody of her children ends when a male child turns 11.

Suppose the father of a child living in the United Arab Emirates dies. In this case, according to Sharia law, the next male relative on the paternal side of the family is usually designated as the guardian for all minor descendants. The mother of the children would retain custody under certain restrictions, such as: B. not marry again. Suppose a woman dies in the United Arab Emirates. In this case, the husband becomes the guardian of all minor children. Without a registered will or specific instruction to appoint a guardian for young children, the UAE’s local authorities would have to act and look after minors until the court approves a suitable guardian.

Appointment of executors by Will

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The administrator of the estate chosen by the testator is the executor (Al-Wasi). The executor is responsible for carrying out the testator’s instructions in accordance with Islamic law and for protecting the interests of the children and the estate. The power of attorney of the executor must be indicated. The executor should be honest and trustworthy; the testator can name more than one executor, male or female, and determine whether each executor can act independently of the others.

Presence of the legatee

A legatee must exist at the time of the testator’s death for a legacy to be legitimate. The legacy must be able to belong to the legatee. According to Sharia law, a legacy in favor of a legal heir who is already entitled to a share is null and void, unless other legal heirs agree. The acceptance or rejection of a legacy by the legatee is only significant after the death of the testator, not before.

Death of the legatee before the testator

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According to Sharia law, if the legatee dies before the will can take effect, the will expires and the inherited property remains with the testator and, if he no longer decides, will belong to his heirs. According to Article 255 of the Civil Status Act, if the beneficiary dies before approving or rejecting the will, ownership of the inherited property is transferred to the beneficiary (s).

The purpose of this article is to give a general overview of the subject. Lawyers in Dubai like HHS lawyers and legal advisors can assist you in drawing up and registering your own will.

A renowned legal services company in Dubai providing will writing services is experts in this and other fields of law.

Will writing can be a demanding process, which is why experts with over 30 years of legal expertise can assure you that they can provide a quality service in creating a legal will.


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