DIFC has launched a new Wills and Probates registry that could have important implications for those of us living in the UAE, says Lizzie Dixon of non-profit organisation Kids Initiative. “Until very recently I would say that most expats didn’t need a will and advise them to keep as few assets here as possible. This is because a will is seen as an appeal against Sharia and its asset division system, so the case would go to the court of appeal, which costs Dh75,000 to implement. So unless you had assets significantly over that amount (not including property) then it really wasn’t worth having.

“However just a few months ago DIFC introduced its own Wills and probate registry. This system is run under common law (70 per cent British, 30 per cent American) and has precedent cases in place (unlike the Sharia system), so the outcome is carved in stone for anyone in the same circumstance (in this case division of assets how you wish). You can also include Dubai-based property in these wills. The cost of doing this is Dh13,000 for a single will and Dh20,000 for a mirror will [husband and wife].”

Guardianship in Dubai

Kids Initiative also offers free guardianship documentation – this is a document that every new parent should have in place without fail, which records who you would like to look after your child if you were unable to.

Inside info

For help getting a will, book a free appointment via the Kids Initiative website: www.kidsinitiativeuae.com