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DIFC Wills protect Dubai residential property worth $2.72bn

New figures have been released showing that DIFC registered Wills cover real estate worth more than AED10 billion ($2.72bn).

The DIFC Wills Service Centre statistics come as Cityscape gets underway, with its focus on encouraging visitors to invest in real estate in Dubai and other emirates.

Sean Hird

Sean Hird, Director of the Wills Service Centre (WSC), said: “This is a remarkable figure. The Wills Service Centre has only been open since 2016, but our latest research shows that we have been able to protect a vast amount of property wealth.”

“We are very pleased that our efforts have been so successful over such a short period. Property owners with a DIFC Will can be sure that their homes and investments are safe, whatever happens in the future.”

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Paul Kelly, Operations Director of the Dubai-based Allsopp & Allsopp real estate brokers, said: “People often don’t behave here in the same way as they would in their home countries. Everyone buying a property here should have a Will – not just to protect their investment, but also their family.”

The WSC figures show that more than 80% of DIFC Wills protect real estate assets.

Two types cover residential property – the Full Will, protecting all assets, and the Property Will, covering up to five items of real estate.

The DIFC Wills Service ( the ‘Wills Service’) provides an online facility that enables eligible persons to complete and submit for registration a DIFC Will which is specific to their real estate property only.

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This ‘Property Will’ can encompass up to 5 real estate properties (or a share in up to 5 real estate properties) that are situated in either the Emirate of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah. The online facility referred to as the ‘Property Will Portal’ is only available via this website. The pre-registration checks for a Property Will can be carried out by appointment at the Wills Service or via the Virtual Registry.

The WSC now has a global partnership with VFS Global, allowing DIFC Wills to be registered anywhere worldwide.

Sean Hird said: “Through our Virtual Registry Service, overseas visitors who buy at Cityscape can register their wills once they return home.”

DIFC Wills can also cover Ras Al Khaimah property and corresponding statistics on the value of real estate protected through Will registration in RAK are due out later this month.

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DIFC Wills are available to non-Muslims either living in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, or living overseas but holding assets there. They allow the holder to nominate the beneficiaries of their Will, which will then be enforced by the Dubai Courts.

Without a recognized and enforceable Will, assets of all UAE residents will be divided among family members after death according to Sharia precepts, following a pre-determined formula.

New laws introduced in 2017 have streamlined the processing of DIFC Wills through Dubai Courts, resulting in a speedy and efficient service.