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Hi

We have been told to get an international will before our move to Dubai. Is this necessary and would it need to be attested?

Many thanks
 

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you should of course speak directly to a lawyer to confirm any advice you get about this. but i can share my personal experience and knowledge.

you do not necessarily have to have the will done ahead of time especially if you are from the UK. being from Canada and a part of the commonwealth we were able to get ours done here by a lawyer familiar with Canadian law. she advised us that the will would be written up according to the laws of Canada. if you have it done ahead in england then be sure to bring your originals with you. if nothing happens then you never need it but if you or your spouse did die then all you would need to do is get it translated into arabic and notarized here and it would be recognized by UAE courts.

i do not believe there is such a thing as an "international" will. you have it drafted and specified to be carried out according to the laws of whichever country you choose. the UAE government has agreed to recognize and respect the wills of expats.

now, if you are married and/or have children you should definitely have a will. this is due to Sharia inheritance laws and the laws regarding custody of minors. you will want to make provisions in your will for the custody [even if temporary here in dubai] of your children upon your death. in the will, there should also be a statement that you would NOT like Sharia inheritance laws to be applied and then proceed to specify how you would like your estate to be handled.

the courts have agreed to respect the wills in regards to "moveable" assets such as furniture, jewellery, household goods, personal possessions, money in UAE bank accounts, etc.

owning property, an immoveable/real asset, is different. as is often the case with vehicles.

if you are married and want more info about Sharia inheritance laws let me know. you can also search the forum and you'll find more info, perhaps even a previous post i made on another thread about this.
 

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y

the courts have agreed to respect the wills in regards to "moveable" assets such as furniture, jewellery, household goods, personal possessions, money in UAE bank accounts, etc.

owning property, an immoveable/real asset, is different. as is often the case with vehicles.

if you are married and want more info about Sharia inheritance laws let me know. you can also search the forum and you'll find more info, perhaps even a previous post i made on another thread about this.

Sammylou,

GREAT info!! Would you mind letting us know where you read about courts agreeing with the above ? Not that I am doubting far from it, but my previous understanding was that courts would not recognize wills and if they are now that's INDEED great news! It was that understanding that had put me off.

I do have concerns about the form of the will whether it needs to be authenticated in the UAE if it was done somewhere else that kind of thing. Or should it be done here. In other words, how the the formality works ? You mentioned that you used your lawyer in Canada (probably under common law). How did you recognize your will here in the UAE ? Do you need to do that ?
 

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Sammylou,

GREAT info!! Would you mind letting us know where you read about courts agreeing with the above ? Not that I am doubting far from it, but my previous understanding was that courts would not recognize wills and if they are now that's INDEED great news! It was that understanding that had put me off.

I do have concerns about the form of the will whether it needs to be authenticated in the UAE if it was done somewhere else that kind of thing. Or should it be done here. In other words, how the the formality works ? You mentioned that you used your lawyer in Canada (probably under common law). How did you recognize your will here in the UAE ? Do you need to do that ?
perhaps you read too quickly through my post. i stated that we used a lawyer here in the Dubai. she is a British lawyer and therefore very familiar with Canadian inheritance law as it very similar.

i did not read that courts recognize expat wills, the lawyer here informed me of such. however a quick google search just now has yielded the following from the Dubai government website: Understanding of inheritance and debt settlement

again, if you re-read my post you will see i talked about what is required regarding authentication here. but allow me to repeat myself. the courts will indeed require an Arabic translated will that has been notarized by the Dubai notary. in the event of death there will be plenty of time to have that done before you get a court date to present the will. so on the advice of my lawyer, we are not bothering with that expense unless we need it.

and in case it was not clear originally, the wills we had drafted cover not only our assets here in Dubai but also Canada, since in that country [as well as UK], if you die intestate [without a will] certain assets can go into probate and get tied up for quite some time.

and don't get me wrong, the courts have agreed to recognize them, but do not think the process would be settled in a matter of simple days. the will certainly helps to speed up the process and make the wishes of the deceased clearer, but it could take up to several months for probate to be settled. it is still a complicated matter. you should still contact a lawyer and get professional advise that is relevant to your situation.
 

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No worries. I talked to some lawyers before and because different lawyers had expressed different views back then I did not do it. Thanks for the link will check it out.

I already solved my will issue in a different way. My situation is probably not similar to yours. I have no hard assets here that I care of and my belongings can be collected with a simple POA in the jurisdiction where I hold assets (not Canada). I barely hold liquid assets here too. It would be interesting though to revisit this if uncertainty around wills is indeed diminished.

The notarization part is still confusing nevertheless from your explanation that's why I wanted to know more details on the formality side and there is indeed a disconnect from what I gather .

I have authenticated documents before in the UAE and I followed a process that is different from yours.

In my case, any document as far as I know issued in Canada must be notarized by a lawyer and carry the stamp of Foreign Affair Canada (Ottawa) according to the rules of authentication put forward by UAE for recognizing documents issued in other jurisdictions. What they say is really simple. You need to notarize and have the entity of your country guarantee that document is valid.

Therefore, under the rules for Canada; A Canadian document would need to be notarized by a Canadian law practitioner since Foreign Affairs Canada has a list of valid lawyers who have authority to notarize documents in Canada (common law not civil law if we are talking about Quebec).

With that, you get it translated by a sworn translator in Arabic in the UAE and re-notarize it at Foreign Affairs UAE where they add another stamp of recognition.

Without the Foreign affairs UAE stamp, the authorities told me that my documents had no value and could not produce legal effects in the UAE.
 

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In my case, any document as far as I know issued in Canada must be notarized by a lawyer and carry the stamp of Foreign Affair Canada (Ottawa) according to the rules of authentication put forward by UAE for recognizing documents issued in other jurisdictions. What they say is really simple. You need to notarize and have the entity of your country guarantee that document is valid.

Therefore, under the rules for Canada; A Canadian document would need to be notarized by a Canadian law practitioner since Foreign Affairs Canada has a list of valid lawyers who have authority to notarize documents in Canada (common law not civil law if we are talking about Quebec).

With that, you get it translated by a sworn translator in Arabic in the UAE and re-notarize it at Foreign Affairs UAE where they add another stamp of recognition.

Without the Foreign affairs UAE stamp, the authorities told me that my documents had no value and could not produce legal effects in the UAE.
Perhaps the process you have defined above is followed if the will is produced in Canada?!? It would make sense then to have it recognized by the Foreign Affairs department in Canada and then the UAE - sort of like your degree attestation if you get your degree from Canada.

I think Sammylou is saying that she got her will through a lawyer in Dubai who is familiar with the Canadian laws. It wouldn't make sense to get a document which was generated in UAE to have it attested in Canada :confused:
 

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I know she did hers here and I made a mistake while writing giving the impression that she did it overseas.

She mentions that if you want to validate your will done elsewhere you need to follow a specific process to notarize it using dubai notary.

The disconnect is there because as far as I know you need to involve UAE foreign affairs in the notarization process.
 

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I know she did hers here and I made a mistake while writing giving the impression that she did it overseas.

She mentions that if you want to validate your will done elsewhere you need to follow a specific process to notarize it using dubai notary.

The disconnect is there because as far as I know you need to involve UAE foreign affairs in the notarization process.
yes, i had the will drafted here. out of the mouth of my lawyer, the only step in having this will legally recognized by the courts is to have it translated into Arabic and notarized here in Dubai by the Dubai Courts Notary Public. no mention of the UAE Foreign Affairs or attestation process in Canada. however, perhaps i was unclear, part of creating the will is having it witnessed by the lawyer and attested by the Canadian embassy here in Dubai. i see that i failed to mention that above as it was an included service being provided by the lawyer in order to deliver our will. they were providing us with the final product; a legal Canadian will that is submissible in Dubai court provided you have taken the extra steps in regards to the translation. you can visit this link from the Dubai government on the process, updated this year: Preparing your will and retirement

in fact, dubai.ae has a lot of great information for residents.

if you already have a legal will and it was drafted up in another country. i am going to assume that in order for it to be a legal document it will have already been attested/notarized in the country in which it was drafted. but again, consult a lawyer to ensure it does not require attestation before coming here.

now, if you, Canuck_Sens, are being instructed differently, and insist on this instruction's accuracy, then i suggest you continue to listen to your lawyer as he/she advises because honestly i am kinda done trying to make myself clear to you.

for anyone looking to have a will drafted while here in UAE, i suggest you find a lawyer you are comfortable with, meet with them, ask them what the process is, weigh that advice against whatever research you have done, and move forward accordingly.

hope this is helpful to those of you interested in starting the process of having a will drafted and knowing how to ensure it is submissible to the Dubai courts.
 

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one last piece of clarification now regarding the whole notion of attestation as i have just clarified this with my lawyer as we are finalizing the draft.

their service provides attestation in the sense that it will be legally witness and signed by the lawyers at their office. at that point alone it will be a legally recognized Canadian will. it does not need to be sent to the consulate here in order for Canada to recognize it as a legal will.

only if the will is required to be presented in Dubai court during probate is it then required [by the Dubai government] to be attested here by the Canadian Consulate, then translated to Arabic, then sent to the Dubai Notary.

hope this clarifies any lingering confusion anyone may have had.
 

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consult a lawyer is fine I think we all do that. The problem is that for a legal will to have validity say in Canada provided common law is there is that it has to be notarized by a "lawyer authorised to notarize in Canada" and not any lawyer.

It is all about getting legal documents in one country to be recognized legally in others. Each country has its own process/ rules. I am more concerned about producing valid legal effects.

I find your information useful for the residents of Dubai. For those who do not reside in the Emirate of Dubai I am not sure how it works.

In certain countries where we have civil law for example, I can prepare the will myself and have it notarized in any notary provided that I follow the specific forms and etc.

one last piece of clarification now regarding the whole notion of attestation as i have just clarified this with my lawyer as we are finalizing the draft.

their service provides attestation in the sense that it will be legally witness and signed by the lawyers at their office. at that point alone it will be a legally recognized Canadian will. it does not need to be sent to the consulate here in order for Canada to recognize it as a legal will.

only if the will is required to be presented in Dubai court during probate is it then required [by the Dubai government] to be attested here by the Canadian Consulate, then translated to Arabic, then sent to the Dubai Notary.

hope this clarifies any lingering confusion anyone may have had.
 
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