The DIFC Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA) with its ancillary body, the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (“WPR”) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai Land Department (“DLD”).
The signing of the Memorandum marks an important step forward in the development of the WPR by officially outlining a process in conjunction with a major government department to ensure the rapid facilitation of probate court orders covering the Dubai assets of those who have registered their wills with the WPR.
The Memorandum outlines articles to ensure a clear flow of information between the WPR and DLD. It is set out to complement existing legal and administrative processes in Dubai and sets out how information will be exchanged, including information relating to title deeds, and how this information will be handled securely. It also outlines the specific roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in the sharing of this information.
The setting up of a joint committee between the WPR and the DLD is also proposed in the Memorandum’s articles. This will enable both parties to meet on a regular basis and discuss how the working relationship can be further refined.
Mr. Michael Hwang, Head of the DRA and Chief Justice of DIFC Courts, said: “The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Dubai Land Department is an important milestone for the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry. It gives clear guidelines for the process that will occur when it comes to distributing land or property assets in Dubai for registered wills in the DIFC and will encourage the facilitation of probate court orders, in line with current enforcement procedures via the Dubai Courts, at an important time for Dubai’s real estate market. One of the key aims of the WPR is to provide legal certainty and a comprehensible inheritance solution for non-Muslims with assets in Dubai, and by instigating clear processes in partnership with key government bodies we will ensure we achieve this.”
His Excellency, Mr. Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, the Director General of Dubai Land Department, said: “Dubai continues to emerge as a global commercial and financial hub. To ensure this momentum remains, people need to be confident that their Dubai-based assets can be transferred according to their wishes upon their death. The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry is providing an important service and we are pleased to be working in conjunction with them for the continued success of Dubai.”
The first service of its kind in the region, the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry aims to provide individuals the ability to register English language wills that allow their Dubai- based assets to be transferred upon death according to their instructions. The rules governing the Registry reflect the spirit of existing UAE laws, which provide non-Muslims the right to choose the way in which their estates are distributed.