Why this new legal policy will be helpful for expats

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Changes in the rules governing the legal system for wills means that expats can now dictate how they want their assets divided upon their death, by registering online.

Under the directive of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, deputy prime minister and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, the system allows non-Muslim expats to register their will online so that Sharia law is not applied to their assets.

It aims to make proceedings easier in the event of a death, and to provide protection for expat families in the UAE.

Inheritance laws in the UAE are based on Sharia law, which is governed by Islamic law where there is a set formula for each family member to inherit a precise share.

According to Mohammad Marria, managing director of Just Wills in the UAE, “The benefits of drafting a will is so that, at the time of your death, at least there is something that you left behind that dictates how you want things to be dealt with.”

To register your will in an Abu Dhabi court, a legal consultant can help verify documents and make the process smoother.

Steps involve having your will translated, reserving an appointment at adjd.gov.ae, visiting the court at Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, near Zayed Sports City and appointing an executor of your will.

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