The Dubai Courts has taken a momentous step towards fostering cultural diversity and providing comprehensive services by announcing the establishment of its first inheritance department for non-Muslims residing in the emirates.
This significant development allows non-Muslims to prepare and execute their wills according to their own laws, offering them a clear legislative framework and ensuring the effective application of their wishes regarding inheritance matters.
The newly established department will serve as a dedicated platform for non-Muslims to formalize their wills and have them administered by the Dubai Courts.
By aligning with the emirate’s commitment to honoring cultural diversity, this initiative strengthens the overall service framework by offering a comprehensive and advanced system for managing inheritance affairs.
Headed by Judge Mohammed Jassim Al-Shamsi, the Special Court of Inheritance in Dubai specializes in regulating non-Muslim inheritance cases based on specific terms and conditions.
To open an inheritance file, applicants must provide a set of documents, depending on their specific request and the available documentation.
There are four scenarios for opening an inheritance file in Dubai Courts. In the first case, applicants must provide a legal notice, an inventory of inheritance, a legal document, or an official document specifying the heirs and their shares.
In the second case, an official document proving the existence of a will issued by Dubai Courts or any other courts within the UAE, excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre courts, must be submitted. In the third case, if none of the above documents are available, a judicial ruling proving the death of the deceased and identifying the heirs is required.
If the ruling is issued outside the UAE, it must be attested by the UAE Embassy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The fourth case involves executing a will not issued by the courts within the UAE, wherein the provisions of Article 18 of Law No. 15 of 2017 are applied.
The non-Muslim inheritance department follows a single-session system, aiming to reach a decision on the request within one session. After the decision accepting the execution of the will is issued, along with the file opening application, it is presented.
If further clarification and inquiries are required, a request can be submitted to the court president for approval to open the file through the “Wayak” system. In cases where the court refrains from opening probate files, applicants can request a review and issuance of an approval decision through the same system
The establishment of the non-Muslim inheritance department is a testament to Dubai Courts’ commitment to facilitating and expediting procedures for individuals. It demonstrates their dedication to applying personal laws and developing litigation procedures to make them enforceable.
This move is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who issued Law No. 15 of 2017.
Law No. 15 of 2017 applies to all wills and probate matters concerning non-Muslims in Dubai, including the Dubai International Financial Centre. This comprehensive law empowers non-Muslims to prepare their wills within a clear legislative framework that ensures the application of their personal laws.
It also seeks to enhance litigation procedures related to their wills and probate matters, simplifying and making them enforceable.
By addressing legal issues associated with inheritance and probate cases and providing appropriate solutions, Law No. 15 of 2017 encourages non-Muslims to register their wills and manage their estates in Dubai. This initiative fosters confidence and transparency, ultimately promoting investment in Dubai.
The establishment of the inheritance department for non-Muslims in Dubai Courts marks a significant milestone towards embracing cultural diversity and providing a comprehensive service framework.
By allowing non-Muslims to execute their wills according to their own laws, this development ensures the effective application of their wishes and contributes to a more inclusive legal environment. With Law No. 15 of 2017 as the foundation, Dubai Courts are empowering non-Muslims and promoting Dubai as an investment destination built on confidence and transparency.
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