The UAE government unveils huge legislative changes to inheritance tax laws which removes the requirement for non-Muslims to have Sharia-compliant Wills.
Non-Emiratis can use the laws of their nationality in dealing with inheritance as opposed to having assets distributed under sharia law in the absence of a Will. However, if a Will is already in place, then it shall be followed and respected.
The only exception to the measure is if there are properties purchased in the UAE, as they will need to be managed according to UAE law.
For non-Emiratis the laws of the person’s country of origin will be used in an intestacy situation. This is likely to simply the process for non-Emirates if they die without making a Will. Although, this is a welcome change, succession planning for expats remains important in particular if they have assets across a number of jurisdictions.
"...these changes to the law “mark significant progress” as prior to the overhaul, the likely scenario when a person died in UAE was that their assets would be divided under UAE law, including principles of Sharia which may well have run contrary to the deceased person’s beliefs and expectations."