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50 non-Muslims register wills so far.

Summary: The Non-Muslims Wills Office is a special office set up to offer special services to non-Muslims wanting to register their wills

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Hamed Hasan Al Ayadaroos, administrative manager of Notary-Public and Authentication at the Judicial Department

A special office has begun functioning at the Abu Dhabi courts to register inheritance wills for non-Muslim expats in the Capital.

The Non-Muslims Wills Office, which started operating in August this year, was set up by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) to look into matters of inheritance for non-Muslim residents. So far, 50 wills have been registered by the office from August to October 19, according to figures provided by the Non-Muslim Wills Office.

The charge for registering a will for expats since the new office opened has been Dh500, but officials say that starting from November, the fee will be increased to Dh5,000.

"This is a special office set up to offer special services to non-Muslims wanting to register their wills," Hamed Hasan Al Ayadaroos, administrative manager of Notary-Public and Authentication at the Judicial Department told Khaleej Times.

"The office receives the written will from the resident and all documents of properties listed in the will. The documents are checked first for approval and then the person is given an appointment to appear to the office and sign his or her will."

Al Ayadaroos noted that the set up of the wills registration office for non-Muslims will contribute to raising the degree of legal protection over assets owned by non-Muslims in Abu Dhabi, by granting them freedom to select the appropriate method to write and register their will concerning disposal of their estate after their death.

Ali Al Abadi, an Abu Dhabi lawyer said the special office for non-Muslim wills is to benefit many people. "The new wills office gives non-Muslims chance to distribute assets and allocate where their properties should go after they have died," said Al Abadi. "Registering a will prevents disputes among the deceased's family."

The wills office for non-Muslims has been set up following a decision issued in May by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, who is also the chairman of the ADJD to create a registry of wills and probate for non-Muslims.

Counsel Yousef Saeed Al Ibri, undersecretary of ADJD, said the creation of the wills and probate registry for non- Muslims comes as a part of identifying the realistic needs of all sectors of society in Abu Dhabi, and laying down the institutional and legislative mechanisms. This is in order to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals of their various beliefs and ethnicities, under the umbrella of the state constitution which affirms the enjoyment of foreigners of rights and freedoms prescribed in international charters.

"The registration of wills offers flexible legal options to assist non-Muslim families in the event of the death of the father or mother; in order to protect assets and properties," said Al Abri.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Oct 22, 2017
Words:514
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