DIFC

FAQs

The Registration Team are available to answer your questions.

  • About The Registry
  • What is the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry?

    The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry is a public entity of the Dubai Government and an ancillary body of the DIFC’s Dispute Resolution Authority established by Resolution Number 4 of 2014 issued by HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the President of the DIFC.

  • Why has the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry been established?

    In the face of perceived uncertainty many people with assets in Dubai were moving their assets to overseas jurisdictions. At the same time, many Dubai expatriates are unaware that in the absence of a registered Will, the process of transferring their assets to their loved ones after death is time consuming and fraught with legal complexity.

    The Registry provides a first of its kind service that allows non-Muslims with assets and/or children in Dubai the option to choose the DIFC Courts through which to enforce their inheritance wishes as an alternative to other judicial routes.

    The innovative new legal solution enhances Dubai’s attractiveness as a destination for expatriate talent and investment and supports greater economic growth and capital inflow. At the same time, the regime reflects the spirit of existing UAE inheritance laws, which provide non-Muslims the right to choose the way in which their estates are distributed.

  • What does the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry do?

    The Registry is an administrative body providing Will registration and Probate services to eligible individuals.

    The Registry also maintains a Register of Will Draftsmen listing those legal practitioners who are experienced in the area of Will drafting and inheritance planning, and works closely with these individuals and other members of the legal community to develop the services of the Registry and provide available inheritance solution for those with assets in Dubai.

  • What is the role of the DIFC Courts?

    The Registry works in conjunction with the DIFC Courts, particularly in relation to applications and granting of Probate Orders and Guardianship Orders relating to estates of those individuals that have passed away leaving a Will registered at the Registry.

    Whilst all applications are primarily dealt with by the Registry, in the first instance, the DIFC Courts issue the necessary Probate Orders and Guardianship Orders, where necessary, those appointed to prove the Will and wind up the estate of the deceased. The DIFC Courts will also deal with any claims, further applications and objections that may arise during the Probate proceedings, in line with the Registry Rules and all other laws applicable in the DIFC.

    To download a copy of the Registry Rules please click here.

  • Wills
  • Who can register a Will at the Registry?

    In order to register a Will at the Registry, the requirements are that:

    1. You are not Muslim and have never been a Muslim
    2. You are over 21 years of age
    3. Your own assets in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah and/or have minor children residing with you in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah.
  • What types of Will can I register at the Registry?

    There are four types of Will that you can register at the Registry:

    1. Full Will – covers the distribution of your assets in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah and the appointment of guardians of your minor children (if applicable)
    2. Guardianship Will – covers the appointment of guardians of your minor children only
    3. Property Will – covers up to five real estate properties only (online Will service)
    4. Free Zone Company Will – covers up to five shareholdings in free zone or RAKICC companies only (online Will service)
  • Where can I get help to decide which type of Will is right for me?

    If you require assistance in choosing which type of Will is right for you, please consult the Wills section on the Registry website.  Here you will find a summary of the key features of each type of Will that you can register.  If you would like more information to help you decide which DIFC Will is right for you or have any queries in relation to the decision making process, please contact the Registry either by phone, email or using the enquiry form provided.

  • Can I draft my own Will?

    In accordance with the Registry Rules, an individual may prepare their own Will or, if suitable, use the Registry’s Property Will Portal to complete a Property Will that relates only to real estate property, or Free Zone Company Will Portal to complete a Free Zone Company Will that relates solely to free zone shareholdings. However, when preparing any Will we do strongly advise that you seek advice from a legal practitioner registered on the Registry’s Register of Will Draftsmen.

  • Will the Registry draft my Will for me?

    The Registry is a public government body and is not in the position to provide any legal advice or assist you in preparing your Will on your behalf. An individual wishing to register a Will with us should prepare the Will (either by themselves, by a legal practitioner registered on the Register of Will Draftsmen or by utilizing the Registry’s Property Will Portal or Free Zone Company Will Portal) and then attend in person at the Registry to register the Will.

  • Who can I contact to prepare my Will?

    If you wish to appoint a legal practitioner, you must appoint a legal practitioner registered on the Register of Will Draftsmen to assist you in preparing your Will and if necessary provide you with associated advice.

    The Register of Will Draftsmen can be viewed by clicking here.

  • How much will a lawyer charge to prepare my Will?

    The Registry works closely with all legal practitioners listed on the Register of Will Draftsmen and is not in a position to recommend the services of one lawyer over another. The level of charges does vary between those legal practitioners listed on the Register of Will Draftsmen and we would recommend that you research those listed in order to make a decision as to who you wish to appoint.

  • How do I make a Will?

    There are two stages to making a Will:

    1. Preparing the Will
    2. Registering the Will

    In accordance with the Registry Rules, you may prepare your own Will and then register that Will at the Registry. Alternatively, you may appoint a legal practitioner to prepare your Will and then register that Will at the Registry, with or without their assistance.

    The Registry Rules contain a series of minimum requirements that a Will must contain and Wills that do not meet with these minimum requirements are not registrable at the Registry.

    Your Will does represent an extremely valuable and important legal document and you are strongly advised to consider taking legal advice in its preparation. The Registry maintains a Register of Will Draftsmen containing a list of qualified legal representatives who are approved to prepare Wills for registration at the Registry.

    The Property Will and Free Zone Company Will must be prepared using the Registry’s Property Will Portal and Free Zone Company Will Portal respectively and can be completed without the assistance of a legal practitioner. However, we strongly advise that you consider taking legal advice from a legal practitioner registered on the Registry’s Register of Will Draftsmen to ensure these types of Wills are the appropriate forms of Will to achieve your objectives.

    To view the Register of Will Draftsmen please click here.

  • Costs
  • How much does it cost to register a Will at the Registry?

    The cost of registering a Will at the Registry differs depending on the type of Will that you are making. To see a schedule setting out the fees charged by the Registry in relation to the registration and probate of DIFC Wills please click here.

    Please note that the Registry’s registration fees are not connected with any fee that may be charged by a legal practitioner and all registration fees are payable directly to the Registry.

  • How much does it cost for a Grant of Probate?

    The fees associated with the Probate process are fixed and a full list of the current fees can be viewed here.

  • How do I pay to register my Will?

    The Registry’s fees are all administrative fees and are stated in United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Payments may be made by using the Registry’s payment facility or alternatively by registering with the Registry’s credit facility. Payments can also be made in person. You can pay the whole fee online when booking the appointment, or you can pay the deposit online when booking the appointment and pay the remaining fee at time of registration by using either credit card, cash or cheque.

  • Registration Appointments
  • Where do I register my Will?

    Your Will should be registered by appointment with a Registry Officer at the Registry’s offices.Our offices are located at Level 3, Precinct Building 5 (South), Gate District, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

  • How long does it take to register my Will?

    Your appointment to register your Will should take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • How do I make an appointment to register my Will?

    All appointments and payments to register a Will are made using the Registry’s online appointment system (accessed from this site). Through this online system you can choose a date and time that is convenient for you to register your Will.

  • What if I need to travel to Dubai specifically to register my Will?

    If you are travelling to Dubai specifically to register your Will, you can utilize the Registry’s online appointment system to plan ahead and choose a future date and time that fits with your travel arrangements.

  • Can I register my Will without being present at the Registry?

    It is a requirement of the Registry Rules that you attend at the Registry to register and sign your Will. We are not able to accept registration appointments that will take place online, over the phone or by any other means.

  • Who should come to the appointment to register my Will?

    You will need to attend in person at your Registry appointment to register your Will and you must bring along one witness.

    If you have appointed a legal practitioner registered on the Registry’s Register of Will Draftsmen to prepare your Will on your behalf you are welcome to have them present at your registration appointment. Your appointed legal practitioner may also act as your witness when signing your Will during the appointment.

    It is not necessary for any other individual to attend with you and your executors and beneficiaries should not attend. This measure is put in place to reduce the risk of challenges to the Will at the time of probate, on grounds such as undue influence.

  • Should my appointed guardians come to the appointment to register my Will?

    We do not require the presence of your appointed guardians at your appointment. However, we do require original and dated signed witness statements from your appointed guardians confirming their acceptance of the appointment under your Will.

    A template of the Witness Statement can be viewed here.

  • Who can act as a witness and how many witnesses do I need?

    You will need to bring one witness who is not named as a beneficiary in the Will or otherwise is the spouse of any named beneficiary and is not the nominated or to be appointed as a guardian of your children.Your executor may act as your witness if they are eligible.

    Your witness must be over the age of 21 years and they must bring their photographic ID when attending the appointment.

    If you have appointed a legal practitioner to prepare your Will and they are attending the appointing with you then they may act as your witness when signing your Will during the appointment.

  • Can I bring a beneficiary that is named in my Will to my registration appointment?

    Unless they are your spouse and you are both executing mirror wills,your beneficiaries should not attend your registration appointment.

  • Will Specifics
  • What will my Will cover?

    The extent of your Will will depend on the type of Will that you wish to prepare and register.

    Full Will – this Will covers the distribution of your assets in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah and the appointment of Interim and Permanent guardians of your minor children (if applicable).

    Guardianship Will – this Will covers the appointment of Interim and Permanent guardians of your minor children who are resident in Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah only.

    Property Will – this Will covers up to five real estate properties situated in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah only and must be completed using the Registry’s Property Will Portal.

    Free Zone Company Will – this Will covers up to five shareholdings in free zone and RAKICC companies situated in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah and must be completed using the Registry’s Free Zone Company Will Portal.

    A Will registered at the Registry relates only to Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah and in the event that you require a Will to cover assets and the appointment of guardians outside of these jurisdictions then such a Will cannot be registered with the Registry. You would need to seek advice from a legal practitioner suitably qualified in the area of concern to achieve this.

  • Can my spouse register a Will at the same time as me?

    Your spouse can register a Will at the same time as you, and this would be done at a joint registration appointment. The two Wills that are executed are commonly to as ‘Mirror Wills’. This means that you each have your own separate Will.

  • Do I have to be a resident of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah to register a Will?

    You do not need to be a resident of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah to register a Will at the Registry. Any eligible individual (i.e. a non-Muslim that is over the age of 21 years of age) with assets in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah and/or minor children living with them in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah may register a Will, even if they do not reside in Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.

    You will however need to attend in person at your scheduled registration appointment to register your Will and you cannot send anyone else to attend on your behalf.

  • Must my nominated executors and/or guardians be residents of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah?

    There is no requirement under the Registry Rules for executors and/or guardians appointed in your Will to be residents of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.

  • Other jurisdictions
  • Can I register a previous Will I had drafted which has already been made/registered/notarized in the UAE or elsewhere?

    It will be the case that your previously drafted (and/or notarized) Will does not comply with the Registry Rules as it has been drafted in accordance with another regime and/or jurisdictional laws. It would most certainly need to be re-drafted and a new Will would be required to subject your Will to the Registry Rules and the exclusive jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts.

    We strongly advise that you seek legal advice from a legal practitioner registered on the Register of Will Draftsmen if you require assistance in re-drafting your existing Will.

  • What will happen if I make another Will in another country or have an existing Will?

    There is no restriction on you making another Will in another country after you have registered a Will at the Registry. However, you are strongly advised to take legal advice on the drafting of that other Will, as it could invalidate your Will registered with the Registry, if that other Will is not correctly drafted to achieve your overall objectives. Likewise, if you already have another Will in another country, then you are strongly advised to take legal advice to ascertain the likely impact, if any, of your Will registered with the Registry on that other Will.

  • Will Modifications
  • Why would I need to modify my Will?

    Once you have registered your Will at the Registry, circumstances may necessitate a modification to your Will, such as:

    1. Your subsequent marriage or divorce (in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah or abroad)
    2. The birth or adoption of a child (in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah or abroad or abroad) whom you wish to include in your Will
    3. Your wish to add or change the appointment of guardians in your Will
    4. You have recently experienced a significant change in financial status which impacts those assets that you hold in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah
    5. You have a desire to change your beneficiaries
    6. Death or incapacity of an executor named in your Will
    7. Significant change in laws in your home country, Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah, which impacts those assets that you hold in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah
  • Do I need to modify my Will when I acquire a new asset in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah

    You are encouraged to draft your Will in a way so that it covers the assets that you would expect to hold in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah as at the date of your death to avoid the need to amend the Will each time that you sell or acquire a new asset. We would strongly advise that you seek legal advice from a legal practitioner registered on the Register of Will Draftsmen to ensure that your Will is drafted in this way and to ensure that you can be advised on how your Will may be impacted in the event of a change of circumstances.

  • What is the procedure for modifying my Will and how much does it cost?

    A modification of a Will registered with the Registry largely follows the initial procedure for registering a Will and any update to a Will is considered to be a new Will. The Registry does not operate a system of amending existing registered Wills and the Registry does not register codicils to a Will.

    For a list of the current Registry fees for modifying a Will please click here.

  • What do I do if I move house, or someone named in my Will moves?

    Changing your address or the personal details of individuals named in your Will does not necessitate a modification of your Will and these will be considered by the Registry as administrative changes to an existing case file. Such changes however should be communicated to the Registry as soon as is practicable allowing the Registry to update the file. This will avoid any delays or hindrances for your executor(s) when you pass away.

  • What happens if I get married or divorced after registering a Will?

    The Registry Rules operate to make automatic changes to your Will in the event of marriage or divorce after your Will has been registered. A subsequent marriage invalidates your Will in its entirety. You would therefore need to consider making a new Will or make other arrangements to reflect your changed circumstances in accordance with the Registry Rules. A subsequent divorce invalidates the gift (not the entire Will) you made to your now ex-spouse. Again, you would need to consider making a new Will or make other arrangements to reflect your changed circumstances.

  • Property Will
  • What is a Property Will?

    The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry’s Property Will Portal is a facility that enables you to complete and submit for registration at the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (Registry) a will that specifically covers up to five (5) real estate properties (or a share in any such five (5) properties) that you may own in the Emirate of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah. In order to register a Property Will with the Registry, the requirements are that:

    1. You are not Muslim and have never been a Muslim
    2. You are over 21 years of age
    3. You own real estate property in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah

    Your Property Will must be completed and submitted using the Property Will Portal and must be registered (and signed) by you in person at an appointment at the Registry .

    A list of the Registry ’s current fees payable to register a Property Will can be viewed here.

  • Is a Property Will suitable for me?

    To register a Property Will, you must be non-Muslim, over 21 years of age and the Property Will must be limited to real estate property situated in Dubai.

    The maximum number of properties listed in a registrable Property Will is five (5) at any one time. If you own more than five (5) properties, then you would need to draft and register an alternative type of Will offered by the Registry . If you wish to pass on any other assets owned by you to nominated beneficiaries then again, this can only be achieved through a different type of Will offered by the Registry .

  • How do I make a Property Will?

    Stage 1 – Completion of your Property Will:

    The first step is to visit the Property Will Portal, sign up to obtain your individual login and follow the instructions provided. You will be asked to read a small amount of information before completing your Property Will.

    Once completed, you will be prompted to submit your Property Will and supporting information/ documents to the Registry.

    You may log in and out of the Property Will Portal to complete your Property Will in your own time and you are not required to complete your Property Will during your first login session.

    Stage 2 – Registration of your Property Will:

    The second step is to make an appointment at the Registry to register (and sign) your Property Will. All appointments and payments to register (and sign) a Property Will are made using the Registry ’s online system.

    You will need to attend in person at your Will registration appointment to register (and sign) your Property Will.

  • What must I consider when making a Property Will?

    You will need to know/consider the following before completing your Property Will:

    Property

    The identity (plot number, address etc.) of your real estate property that you personally own in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah. Remember that property that you have not yet acquired in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah and property outside of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah cannot be included.

    Executors

    An executor is the individual responsible for administering your property in the event of your death. You will need to consider who to appoint to act in this role. You may also wish to consider appointing a substitute executor to act in this role as a replacement. Your executors do not need to be residents of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah. They should be persons whom you trust to administer your property and distribute them to your chosen beneficiaries.

    Beneficiaries

    A beneficiary or beneficiaries will inherit your property in the event of your death. You will need to consider who you wish to receive your property and the share that you would like each beneficiary to receive. For each beneficiary that receives a share of your real estate property situated in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah, you can nominate a further substitute beneficiary to receive the same property or share of such property if your first named beneficiary is not able to receive their share. Your beneficiaries do not need to be residents of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.

    Please note that in line with our DIFC Registry Rules, you can appoint either natural persons (individuals) or legal persons (companies) to be your beneficiaries, however you cannot appoint animals as beneficiaries.

    In the event you chose to nominate a company, or a charity, or a foundation as beneficiary, you will have to provide the Registry with the copy of the license of this registered entity.

  • Do I need a lawyer to prepare a Property Will?

    Your Property Will represents an extremely valuable and important legal document and you are strongly advised to consider taking legal advice in its preparation and indeed any Will to be registered at the Registry . Should you wish to engage a qualified legal representative to complete a Property Will on your behalf please refer to the Register of Will Draftsmen (link here) for a list of qualified legal representatives. In particular, if any of the following circumstances apply to you, we strongly advise taking legal advice from a qualified legal representative as the Property Will would not or may not be the appropriate form of will to achieve your objectives:

    – I own a variety of moveable and immoveable assets in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah

    – I own more than 5 properties in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah

    – I have significant debts in Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah

    – I need to appoint guardians of my children who are under 21 years of age

    – My family structure is particularly complex

    – The distribution of my property is likely to be complex

    – It is my intention not to distribute my property to my spouse and/or one of my dependents

    – I have one or more dependents that are under a legal disability or incapacitated

    – The succession laws of my home country are complex and I do not know how to comply with them.

    Please note here that in your home country you may be required by law to give certain shares of your estate to specific heirs, or family dependants. We recommend you seek legal advice from a qualified legal representative to comply with those laws when making gifts to beneficiaries in a Property Will, to allow compliance with that law and reduce the risk of challenge to your Will later on by heirs.

  • How do I register my Property Will at the Registry?

    You must make an appointment with the Registry to register (and sign) your Property Will and the appointment will last 45 minutes. All appointments and payments to register (and sign) a Property Will are made using the Registry ’s online system. You will need to attend in person at your Registry appointment to register (and sign) your Property Will and you must bring along one witness. Your executors and beneficiaries should not attend.

    All present parties should bring their ID to the appointment at the Registry .

  • What document will I need when registering my Property Will?

    The Property Will Portal will provide you with a list of the supporting information and documents that you will need to bring along with you when you attend the Registry offices to register your Property Will. These include a copy of your passport and Emirates ID (if applicable). You will be asked to provide basic details about yourself, your executors, and your beneficiaries so that we may contact them at a future date if needs be.

    You should also provide copies of any Title Deeds or other proof of ownership documents that you have for each of the properties that you wish to include in your Property Will. If you currently do not hold a title deed for a specific property, you may have been provided with other documents by the authorities, such as an ‘uqud’ or a ‘transfer of freehold ownership certificate (TFO)’.

    All your properties in the Emirate of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah may be included in the will, also properties you own in the free zones of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah , subject to the overall limit of five (5) properties at any one time.

  • Where can I get assistance when making my Property Will?

    Explanatory notes are available to assist you in preparing your Property Will and you should read these when using the Property Will Portal. Furthermore, if you chose to engage the services of a qualified legal representative please note that that they must be registered with the Registry and listed on the Registry’s Register of Will Draftsmen.

    The Registry is not in the position to provide any legal advice or assist you in preparing your Property Will and the explanatory notes issued by the Registry do not constitute legal advice in relation to the preparation of the Property Will (or any other will to be submitted to the Registry for registration). If you have any queries in relation to this matter, please contact the Registry by phone on +971 (0) 4 404 88 88 or by email on info@difcprobate.ae .

  • What if I purchase one or more properties after my Property Will has been registered at the Registry?

    A Property Will can only include property (or a share of a property) situated in the Emirate of Dubai and/or Ras Al Khaimah that you personally own and specifically list in the Will. If you purchase or acquire property after registering your Property Will, you must modify you existing Property Will by preparing and registering a new Property Will, to ensure that your Property Will covers all your property. The fee for registering a new Property Will in these circumstances is AED 550 and a list of the Registry ’s current fees can be viewed here.

  • What happens if I wish to change my executors and beneficiaries once I have registered my Property Will?

    If you wish to change any part of your Property Will after it has been registered, you must complete and register (and sign) a new Property Will. The fee for registering a new Property Will in these circumstances is AED 550 and a list of the Registry’s current fees can be viewed here.

  • Guardianship Will
  • Can I appoint guardians of my children in my Will?

    You can appoint both temporary/interim and permanent guardians in your Will and we would encourage you to do so if you have minor children that are residing with you in Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.

  • What is an Interim guardian?

    An interim (or ‘temporary’) guardian is an individual that is appointed to take care of your child or children temporarily before your appointed permanent guardians take responsibility for them.

  • What is a Permanent guardian?

    A permanent guardian is an individual that is appointed to take care of your child or children permanently or long term.

  • Are there any restrictions as to who I can appoint to be an Interim or Permanent guardian?

    Whilst the power to appoint guardians of your minor children is put firmly in your hands, you will need to ensure that your nominated guardians meet the eligibility requirements of the Registry Rules and their appointment does not contravene UAE public policy. Should you require assistance in choosing your appointed guardians, we would encourage you to seek legal advice from a legal practitioner listed on the Register of Will Draftsmen to aid you in your decision.

  • Other Questions
  • What should my family do in the event of my death?

    In the event of your death, your executor should contact the Registry without delay where they will be guided through the Probate process.

  • How long does it take to obtain a Grant of Probate and administer my estate?

    In accordance with the Registry Rules, certain information and documents are required from your executor before they can submit an application for a Grant of Probate.Once the Registry is in possession of this information, it is sent to the DIFC Courts for review by a Judge. If the case is straightforward, a Grant of Probate is normally issued within a matter of few weeks.

  • Do I need to appoint a legal practitioner to obtain a Grant of Probate?

    Your executor may personally wish to handle all aspects for applying for a grant of probate and the Registry Rules allow for an executor to act in their personal capacity and make the required applications and deal with the subsequent administration of your estate. Alternatively, a legal practitioner (governed by the Registry Rules) may be appointed directly by your executor to assist in all aspects of the administration.

  • How much does it cost for a Grant of Probate?

    The fees associated with the Probate process are fixed and a full list of the current fees can be viewed here.

  • What do I do if I am appointed as an executor of an estate?

    If you are appointed as an executor of an estate under the terms of a registered Will you should contact the Registry without delay where you will be guided through the probate process. You may wish to seek legal advice and assistance from a qualified legal representative in doing so.

  • Free Zone Company Will
  • What is a Free Zone Company Will?

    The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry’s Free Zone Company Will Portal is an online facility that enables you to complete and submit for registration a DIFC Will that specifically covers up to five (5) separate shareholdings that you own in any free zone or RAKICC company situated in the Emirate of Dubai or the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

    The free zone in which your shares are held must be established in the United Arab Emirates in accordance with UAE Federal Law and can include any RAKICC registered company shares that you own.

    In order to register a Free Zone Company Will with the Registry, the requirements are that:

    1. You are not Muslim and have never been a Muslim
    2. You are over 21 years of age
    3. You own shares in a free zone or RAKICC registered company situated in the Emirate of Dubai or the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah

    Your Free Zone Company Will must be completed and submitted using the Free Zone Company Will Portal and must be registered (and signed) by you in person at an appointment at the Registry.

    A list of the Registry’s current fees payable to register a Free Zone Company Will can be viewed here.

  • Is a Free Zone Company Will suitable for me?

    To register a Free Zone Company Will, you must be non-Muslim, over 21 years of age and the Free Zone Company Will must be limited to shareholdings that you own in any free zone or RAKICC company situated in the Emirate of Dubai or the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

    The maximum number of separate shareholdings that you can list in a Free Zone Company Will is five (5) at any one time. If you own more than five (5) shareholdings, then you would need to draft and register an alternative type of Will offered by the Registry.

    If you wish to pass on other assets owned by you that are situated in the Emirate of Dubai or the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (other than shares in a free zone or RAKICC registered company) to nominated beneficiaries then again, this can only be achieved through a different type of Will offered by the Registry.

  • How do I make a Free Zone Company Will?

    Stage 1 – Completion of your Free Zone Company Will:

    The first step is to visit the Free Zone Company Will Portal, sign up to obtain your individual login credentials and follow the instructions provided. You will be asked to read a small amount of information before completing your Free Zone Company Will. Once completed, you will be prompted to submit your Free Zone Company Will and supporting information/documents to the Registry.

    You may log in and out of the Free Zone Company Will Portal to complete your Free Zone Company Will in your own time and you are not required to complete your Free Zone Company Will during your first login session.

    Stage 2 – Registration of your Free Zone Company Will:

    The second step is to make an appointment at the Registry to register (and sign) your Free Zone Company Will. All appointments and payments to register (and sign) a Free Zone Company Will are made using the Registry ’s online system.

    You will need to attend in person at your Will registration appointment to register (and sign) your Free Zone Company Will.

  • What must I consider when making a Free Zone Company Will?

    You will need to know/consider the following before completing your Free Zone Company Will:

    Shareholdings

    The identity (company name, company registration number, free zone authority etc.) of your shareholdings that you personally own in the Emirate of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.

    Remember that shareholdings that are not registered shares in a free zone or RAKICC company situated in the Emirate of Dubai or the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, or shares of this nature that you have not yet acquired, or any shareholdings outside the Emirates of Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, cannot be included in your Free Zone Company Will.

    You should ensure that the shareholdings that you wish to specifically list in your Free Zone Company Will are legally owned by you and your ownership is documented by way of a Share Certificate or other proof of ownership document. You should also ensure that you are free to dispose of the shares in the event of your death, and that they are not encumbered by any legal limitations that may affect the way in which you can deal with them. If you are unsure as to whether your shares can be disposed of through a Free Zone Company Will (or any other DIFC Will) we strongly advise that you consider taking legal advice in its preparation from a qualified legal representative listed on the Registry’s Register of Will Draftsmen.

    Executors

    An executor is the individual responsible for administering your shareholdings in the event of your death. You will need to consider who to appoint to act in this role. You should also appoint a substitute executor to act in this role as a replacement. Your executors do not need to be residents of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah. They should be persons whom you trust to administer your shareholdings and distribute them to your chosen beneficiaries as specified in your Free Zone Company Will.

    Beneficiaries

    A beneficiary or beneficiaries will inherit your shareholdings in the event of your death. You will need to consider who you wish to receive your shareholdings and the specific number of shares that you would like each beneficiary to receive. For each beneficiary that receives a number of your shares, you can nominate a further substitute beneficiary to receive the same number of shares (or less if more than one substitute beneficiary is appointed) if your first named beneficiary is not able to receive their shares. Your beneficiaries do not need to be residents of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah.

    Please note that in line with the DIFC Registry Rules, you can appoint either natural persons (individuals) or legal persons (companies) to be your beneficiaries, however you cannot appoint animals as beneficiaries.

    In the event you chose to nominate a company, or a charity, or a foundation as beneficiary, you will have to provide the Registry with the copy of the license of this registered entity.

  • Do I need a lawyer to prepare a Free Zone Company Will?

    Your Free Zone Company Will represents an extremely valuable and important legal document and you are strongly advised to consider taking legal advice in its preparation and indeed any Will to be registered at the Registry. Should you wish to engage a qualified legal representative to complete a Free Zone Company Will on your behalf please refer to the Register of Will Draftsmen for a list of qualified legal representatives. In particular, if any of the following circumstances apply to you, we strongly advise taking legal advice from a qualified legal representative as the Free Zone Company Will would not or may not be the appropriate form of Will to achieve your objectives:
    – I own a variety of moveable and immoveable assets in Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah
    – I own more than 5 separate shareholdings in free zone/RAKICC registered companies situated in Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah
    – I own shareholdings in companies other than free zone/RAKICC registered companies situated in Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah
    – My shareholdings that I own in free zone and/or RAKICC registered companies situated in Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah have or may have limitations on them as to how I can dispose of them in the event of my death
    – I have significant debts in Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah
    – I need to appoint guardians of my children who are under 21 years of age
    – My family structure is particularly complex
    – The distribution of my shareholdings in free zone/RAKICC registered companies situated in Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah are likely to be complex
    – It is my intention not to distribute my shareholdings to my spouse and/or one of my dependents
    – I have one or more dependents that are under a legal disability or incapacitated
    – The succession laws of my home country are complex and they require me to give certain shares of my estate to specific heirs or family dependents – I do not know how to comply with these laws.
    Please note here that in your home country you may be required by law to give certain shares of your estate to specific heirs, or family dependants. We recommend you seek legal advice from a qualified legal representative to comply with those laws when making gifts to beneficiaries in a Free Zone Company Will, to allow compliance with that law and reduce the risk of challenge to your Will later on by heirs.

  • How do I register my Free Zone Company Will at the Registry?

    You must make an appointment with the Registry to register (and sign) your Free Zone Company Will and the appointment will last approximately 45 minutes. All appointments and payments to register (and sign) a Free Zone Company Will are made using the Registry’s online system. You will need to attend in person at your Registry appointment to register (and sign) your Free Zone Company Will and you must bring along one witness. Your executors and beneficiaries should not attend.

    All present parties should bring their ID to the appointment at the Registry.

  • What documents will I need when registering my Free Zone Company Will?

    The Free Zone Company Will Portal will provide you with a list of the supporting information and documents that you will need to bring along with you when you attend the Registry offices to register your Free Zone Company Will. These include a copy of your passport and Emirates ID (if applicable). You will be asked to provide basic details about yourself, your executors, and your beneficiaries so that we may contact them at a future date if needs be.

    You should also provide copies of any Share Certificates or other proof of ownership documents that you have for each of the shareholdings that you wish to include in your Free Zone Company Will.

  • Where can I get assistance when making my Free Zone Company Will?

    Explanatory notes are available to assist you in preparing your Free Zone Company Will and you should read these when using the Free Zone Company Will Portal. Furthermore, if you chose to engage the services of a qualified legal representative please note that that they must be registered with the Registry and listed on the Registry’s Register of Will Draftsmen.

    The Registry is not in the position to provide any legal advice or assist you in preparing your Free Zone Company Will and the explanatory notes issued by the Registry do not constitute legal advice in relation to the preparation of the Free Zone Company Will (or any other Will to be submitted to the Registry for registration). If you have any queries in relation to this matter, please contact the Registry by phone on +971 (0) 4 404 88 88 or by email on info@difcprobate.ae.

  • What if I purchase or acquire additional shareholdings after my Free Zone Company Will has been registered at the Registry?

    A Free Zone Company Will can only include up to five (5) separate shareholdings that you own in any free zone or RAKICC company situated in the Emirate of Dubai or the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The free zone in which your shares are held must be established in the United Arab Emirates in accordance with UAE Federal Law and can include any RAKICC registered company shares that you own. You must specifically list any such shareholdings in your Free Zone Company Will.
    If you purchase or acquire additional shareholdings (that are eligible) after registering your Free Zone Company Will, you must modify you existing Free Zone Company Will by preparing and registering a new Free Zone Company Will, to ensure that your Free Zone Company Will covers your interests. The fee for registering a new Free Zone Company Will in these circumstances is AED 550 and a list of the Registry ’s current fees can be viewed here.

  • What happens if I wish to change my executors and beneficiaries once I have registered my Free Zone Company Will?

    If you wish to change any part of your Free Zone Company Will after it has been registered, you must complete and register (and sign) a new Free Zone Company Will. The fee for registering a new Free Zone Company Will in these circumstances is AED 550 and a list of the Registry’s current fees can be viewed here.If you wish to change any part of your Free Zone Company Will after it has been registered, you must complete and register (and sign) a new Free Zone Company Will. The fee for registering a new Free Zone Company Will in these circumstances is AED 550 and a list of the Registry’s current fees can be viewed here.