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Can Muslims Have a Will in UAE?

Drafting a Will in the UAE usually applies to non-Muslims as Muslims are automatically dictated by the Sharia law on how to distribute their estate/assets upon their passing. So, can Muslims have a Will in UAE?

In order to safeguard the rights of others, it is imperative in Islam to draft a Will when involving their properties or trusts, even in cases when there is no proof. For the Will to be deemed valid, witnesses and comprehensive substance are required.

Unless the heirs agree to more, a Will may distribute up to roughly 33% of the estate to non-heirs. Sharia law requires proof in disputes involving Wills.

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

It’s vital to seek help cause if a Will is drafted improperly, it may cause disagreements among heirs about how to divvy up the assets. Make sure the will is simple to understand, transparent, and unlikely to be contested.

Can Muslims have a Will in UAE?


Instead of using Sharia distribution laws to transfer their assets, Muslim expats can register their Wills with the Abu Dhabi Wills Office in the United Arab Emirates.

Can Muslims have a Will in UAE

Even in the absence of a formal Will, Sharia Law distribution rules may apply to tangible real estate, depending on the specifics of each case.

Watch out for complex disagreements that may arise as a result, making Will for Muslims in UAE more difficult for the surviving family members.

Can Muslims have a Will in UAE as citizens?


Muslims who are citizens of the UAE are not allowed to register Wills there. Only Muslims who are not citizens of the country may choose this, as per UAE legislation.

This is so because Shariah law is followed by UAE legislation, mandating UAE citizens to organize their estates and inheritance according to such law.

However, Muslims who are not citizens of the UAE may select a Civil Will, which is not constrained by Shariah laws and allows them to set up their legacy based on their own wishes.

Civil Wills for Muslims in UAE

The UAE now allows Muslims to file Wills that are not restricted by Shariah compliance thanks to the introduction of Civil Wills, which are governed by Law No. 14/2021 concerning civil marriages and their effects in the emirates of Abu Dhabi.

With adherence to the legal framework set by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, this noteworthy breakthrough allows individuals to organize their inheritance in a way that best suits their particular preferences.

As long as they are not citizens of the UAE, all Muslims living in the UAE, wherever they may be living, are eligible to get a civil will.

Muslim people, irrespective of their nationality, have the chance to register a Will with the Abu Dhabi Civil Wills Office, guaranteeing that their estate in the UAE would be allocated properly.

Civil Will Cost and Registration Process

Civil Will Cost and Registration Process

There is a 950 UAE dirham charge to register a will with the ADJD Civil Wills Office. Applicants can use the ADJD site, which is available through the UAE Pass as part of the Civil Family Court e-Services, to register a civil will.

The application and any supporting documentation must be submitted for the registration process.

Can Muslims have a Will in UAE: Pros and cons of Civil Wills

With the use of civil wills, expats in the United Arab Emirates can organize their inheritance in a way that best suits their needs and family dynamics. This adaptability offers a substitute to Shariah-based inheritance laws while acknowledging the value of freedom in estate planning.

Civil wills help ensure that the testator’s intended actions are honored by minimizing potential disagreements among family members by providing a clear framework for beneficiary designation and asset distribution.

Moreover, civil wills protect all kinds of assets and allow guardianship arrangements to be established for minor beneficiaries, ensuring their safety and financial stability.

But creating and filing a civil will can be difficult, requiring legal knowledge. Additionally, civil wills are only available to non-citizens. Although they are intended to reduce conflict, disagreements can still occur over guardianship and asset distribution.

How to void a Will in UAE

  • Before passing away, the testator is free to cancel their Will either directly or tacitly.
  • A testator who has abandoned Islam or ceased to be a Muslim cannot create a will; it is void.
  • Similarly, unless they return to Islam, the beneficiary of the Will forfeits their right to inherit the assets specified in the Will should they become an unbeliever.
  • Sharia law forbids a successor from recognizing the Will if they are the testator’s murderer in addition to being a former member.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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