• Legal Update/ Wills

    New DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules now in effect

    Probate Registry Rules

    The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (“DIFC WPR”) have announced the release of new Rules which will significantly widen the scope and applicability of the DIFC WPR’s services.

    The new Rules, which come into effect as of today (30th June 2019), allow a non-Muslim testator over the age of 21 to register a Full DIFC Will to provide not only for assets held in all seven Emirates (“UAE Estate”), but also worldwide assets. This is a significant expansion from the previous rules, which limited a testator to assets held in the Emirates of Dubai and/or Ras al Khaimah only.

    Individuals who wish to continue to register Full Wills limited only to their Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah assets may continue to do so, and Guardianship Wills and provisions will continue to apply only to minor children (under the age of 21) who are habitually resident within these two Emirates.

    The remaining 3 available DIFC WPR Wills; Property Will, Business Owners Will, and Financial Assets Will, will apply to a testator’s “UAE Estate”.

    Individuals who have already registered a DIFC Will, but wish to extend the jurisdiction under the Will to include assets across the UAE or worldwide, will be able to do so at no additional cost up until 29th August 2019 by appointment only.

    For further information on the new Rules and/or how Davidson & Co can assist you with amending the jurisdiction of an existing DIFC registered Will, please contact Victoria Smylie or Finlay Donaldson on +971 343 8897 or vsmylie@davidsoncolaw.com / fdonaldson@davidsoncolaw.com.

  • Corporate Law/ Family Law/ Legal Update/ Wills

    DIFC Wills Service Centre launches new Business Owners Will


    The DIFC Wills Service Centre (DIFC WSC) has launched a new Business Owners Will to encompass both free zone and UAE onshore company shares (including RAKICC registered companies). The Business Owners Will replaces the DIFC WSC’s Free Zone Company Will, which was previously available to encompass only free zone company shares.

    The new purpose Will can encompass up to five separate shareholdings in any free zone or UAE onshore company incorporated in the Emirates of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah, and will enable non-Muslim testators over the age of 21 to designate which beneficiary(ies) they wish their company shares to be transferred to on their passing. There are many advantages to ensuring that there is a succession plan in place with regards to the ownership and management of any company, including business continuity, sustainability, and reassurance that the business will be left in capable hands.

    The introduction of the Business Owners Will is intended to allow testators to take advantage of the proposed changes to the foreign ownership system of UAE based enterprises, announced by the Cabinet early this year. Once implemented, the new law will allow certain foreign investors to have 100% sole ownership of their enterprise, bringing the position of onshore LLC companies in line with existing free zone and offshore entities.

    The Business Owner Will is available to both UAE residents and foreign investors, and can be registered in person or via the DIFC WSC’s online Virtual Registry.

    For further information on the Business Owner Will or any of the DIFC WSC’s wills, please contact Victoria Smylie or Finlay Donaldson on +971 4 343 8897.


  • Family Law/ Wills

    DIFC Wills and Probate Register release new Financial Assets Will

    Close up Human Hand Signing on Formal Paper at the Table on Black Background. Retro Filter Effect.

    The DIFC Wills and Probate Register (DIFC WPR) have introduced a new Financial Assets Will to encompass money and listed securities held in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah bank and brokerage accounts. The new purpose Will can encompass up to 10 separate bank or brokerage accounts, or a share in 10 separate bank or brokerage accounts, and is available to register online or in person. The DIFC WPR have partnered up with the Emirates NBD to offer a discounted registration fee of AED 5,000.

    The addition of the new purpose Will now means that there are 5 different forms of DIFC Wills available for individuals, depending on their personal circumstances and the assets which they wish to protect:-

    1. Full Will
    2. Guardianship Will
    3. Property Will (limited to five separate properties or a share in up to five separate properties)
    4. Free Zone Company Will (limited to five separate shareholdings)
    5. Financial Assets Will (limited to ten separate bank or brokerage accounts or a share in 10 separate bank or brokerage accounts)

    A DIFC Will is available to any individual who is non-Muslim and over the age of 21, with assets based in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah.  You do not require to be a resident of the UAE.

    There are a number of benefits to registering a DIFC Will including:-

    • Avoids the application of Sharia Law to your Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah assets.
    • Promotes certainty as a Will ensures your estate passes in accordance with your wishes.
    • Saves undue anguish, costs, and administration for your loved ones at time of probate.
    • Allows you to specify who you wish to act as a Guardian to any minor children under the age of 21.
    • DIFC WPR have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai Land Department to ensure that at the time of probate, your property is passed in accordance with your Will.
    • No death tax applicable to Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah assets administered under the WPR rules.

    It is strongly advised that you seek legal advice and assistance when drafting either a DIFC or Common Law Will.

    For a free consultation, please get in touch to discuss your specific circumstances.