Will Writing: Have You Sorted Out Your Will & Life Insurance?

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October 15, 2020

In this blog post we will cover:

  • Why is a Will necessary in the United Arab Emirates?
  • Do I apply for a Notary Public Will or a DIFC Will?
  • What is the difference between a Single Will & a Mirror Will?



Why is a Will necessary in the United Arab Emirates?

When relocating to a different country, it is important to research the laws and regulations when it comes to protecting your funds.

Drafting a last Will and Testament is a way in which you can control where you funds go when you are no longer around to make decisions about your money.

Many of the Emirates adhere to Sharia Law, which will impact your Will if you don’t seek proper advice when it comes to preparing it. 

When you don’t have a Will in place in the UAE, the rules of intestacy are called into action. 

An intestate person’s funds and assets will be shared out according to certain rules. These rules are decided by the Federal Supreme Council. 

Usually, under the rules of intestacy, this means that only married or civil partners (or other close relatives) can be entitled to inherit your land and assets. 

Whilst this can work for some couples, if you have other plans for your money after you’re no longer around, it would be best to consult with a team of specialists when it comes to drafting your will. 


Do I apply for a Notary Public Will or a DIFC Will?

There are many different types of Will and Testaments which could work for you and your family once you pass away.

Whilst this is a good thing, as it offers plenty of choice and options when it comes to organising your funds, it also can make the entire process more confusing. 

There are two main ways to make a Will legally binding and recognisable by the UAE government. 

First, is the Notary Public Will. This will be prepared in both English and Arabic, providing a completely bilingual format, which is in accordance with the UAE civil code. 

Once you have seeked consultancy about your Notary Public Will, it can be registered with the courts and be confirmed that it is a legally binding document that will protect your funds after you have passed.

Another form of Will is a DIFC will. These are aimed at people, families or business owners who live and/or have assets with any of the Emirates. 

The DIFC Wills covers all your assets which are in any of the Emirates as well as appointed guardians for any minor children who are also residing with the testator in the UAE. 

For these documents to be legally binding, you will have to have them signed and registered at the offices of the DIFC CWS. Once confirmed, this Will will be considered by the UAE as law and your funds will be protected in this way after your passing.


What is the difference between a Single Will & a Mirror Will?

When you begin thinking about writing and preparing your will, you have to consider your personal situation.

Are you married? Do you have children? What are your funds and assets looking like?

In the UAE, there are many options that you can choose from when it comes to considering  your last will and testament. 

A Single Will is the most common for people who are not married and don’t have a significant other. 

With this version, you are able to give your funds to any person you would like to. Whether that be physical money, property, business funds or any other form of assets, you will be able to sign over all rights to the person of your choosing. 

However, you can choose a Single Will even if you are married. It is just more common for married couples to choose the Mirrored Will option.

A Mirror Will if for couples who may have assets in joint names or share funds. Rather than requesting two completely separate wills, which takes more time and costs more money, legally married couples are better off choosing a Mirror Will.

Similarly with Single Wills, with a Mirror Will, you are able to gift money or property to any person you choose, however, this type of Will covers all distribution, guardianships and appointments. 


Life Insurance in the UAE

When applying for a mortgage in the UAE, it’s compulsory to have up-to-date life insurance. 

This is because a mortgage is a type of loan and in the event of an untimely death, the insurance should be able to pay off your debt. 

This also ensures the safety of your property for your family. After you’re gone, your loved ones will be able to stay and enjoy your home. 


Although it can seem a thorny topic, getting your last will and testament in place can give you valuable peace of mind. If you need help getting one in place, or are unsure about the difference between UK and UAE regulations, get in touch and our team will be able to help.