Inheritance Distribution Agreement Drafting in the UAE: A Step-by-Step Guide

Inheritance distribution is an important topic that everyone should consider, especially if you are living in the UAE. In the UAE, inheritance laws can be hard, and without proper planning, it can lead to disputes and legal issues. To avoid these complications, it is essential to have an effective inheritance distribution agreement in place. The agreement may reduce the possibilities of conflicts among the beneficiaries, and it assists in guaranteeing that your assets are distributed as you have intended.

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to inheritance distribution agreement drafting in the UAE, including what to include, choosing the proper beneficiaries, and ensuring the agreement is legally binding. Use this guide to ensure that your assets are distributed per your preferences and that your loved ones are cared for after you pass away.

Step 1: Understand the inheritance laws in the UAE

The first step to drafting an inheritance distribution agreement is to understand the inheritance laws in the UAE and how they may affect your estate. In the UAE, inheritance laws are based on Sharia or Islamic law, which governs the distribution of assets among a deceased person’s heirs. According to Sharia law, certain family members are entitled to a share of the inheritance, including sons, daughters, parents, and spouses. Each heir’s share is distributed based on their relationship to the deceased and the type of assets being distributed.

It is important to note that non-Muslims residing in the UAE can opt to have their home country’s inheritance laws applied to their assets in the UAE. Additionally, non-Muslim expatriates can also choose to distribute their assets according to their wishes through a will, as long as it complies with the UAE’s legal requirements.

Inheritance laws in the UAE can be complex and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. It is, therefore, crucial to seek legal advice and guidance when drafting an inheritance agreement to ensure that it complies with the law and that the wishes of the deceased are carried out effectively.

Step 2: Decide on the beneficiaries and their shares

  • The next step is to decide on the beneficiaries of your inheritance and their respective shares. Beneficiaries are the people or entities that will receive your assets after your death. 
  • You can choose anyone as your beneficiary, such as your spouse, children, relatives, friends, charities, or organizations. However, you should also consider the implications of your choice, such as the tax consequences, the legal rights of the beneficiaries, and the potential disputes that may arise.
  • You should also specify the shares or percentages of your assets that each beneficiary will receive. You can divide your assets equally among your beneficiaries, or you can assign different shares based on your preferences. For example, you may want to give more to your spouse or children than to your siblings or cousins. 
  • You should also consider the type and value of your assets, such as property, bank accounts, investments, or personal belongings, and how they will be distributed among your beneficiaries.

Step 3: Draft the agreement and include the necessary clauses

The third step is to draft the agreement and include the necessary clauses that will make it valid and enforceable. The agreement should be written in clear and concise language, and it should cover all the essential aspects of your inheritance distribution. Some of the clauses that you should include are:

  • The names and details of the parties involved, such as the testator (the person making the agreement), the beneficiaries, the executor (the person who will carry out the agreement), and the witnesses (the people who will attest to the validity of the agreement).
  • The date and place of the agreement, and the governing law and jurisdiction that will apply to the agreement.
  • The declaration of the testator’s intention to distribute their assets according to the agreement, and the revocation of any previous wills or agreements that may contradict the agreement.
  • The list and description of the assets that are subject to the agreement, and the allocation of the shares or percentages of each asset to each beneficiary.
  • The instructions and conditions for the distribution of the assets, such as the timing, the mode of transfer, the expenses, and the taxes that may be involved.
  • The signature of the testator, the beneficiaries, the executor, and the witnesses, and the notarization or registration of the agreement, if required by law.

Step 4: Review and update the agreement regularly

The final step is to review and update the agreement regularly to ensure that it reflects your current situation and wishes. You may need to revise the agreement if there are any changes in your personal or financial circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, relocation, acquisition, or disposal of assets. You may also want to change the agreement if you have a change of heart or mind regarding your beneficiaries or their shares.

To update the agreement, you should follow the same steps as drafting the agreement, and make sure that you clearly state that the new agreement supersedes and replaces the previous agreement. You should also inform your beneficiaries, executor, and witnesses of the changes, and keep a copy of the updated agreement in a safe and accessible place.

Read more about – Inheritance Distribution In The UAE: Tips For Drafting An Effective Agreement

How can a Drafting Lawyer assist you with Drafting an Agreement for Inheritance Distribution?

It is highly recommended to seek the assistance of a professional drafting lawyer who can help you with the following:

  • Assessing your situation and advising you on the best options for inheritance distribution, taking into account your personal and financial circumstances, your family dynamics, and your goals.
  • Drafting a clear and comprehensive agreement that covers all the relevant aspects of inheritance distribution, such as the assets involved, the beneficiaries, the distribution method, the dispute resolution mechanism, and the legal formalities.
  • Reviewing and revising the agreement to ensure that it complies with the applicable laws and regulations, and that it reflects the intentions and expectations of the parties.
  • Negotiating and mediating with the other parties to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that respects the rights and interests of all the beneficiaries.
  • Registering and executing the agreement to ensure that it is legally valid and enforceable, and that the assets are transferred smoothly and efficiently to the beneficiaries.

 If you are looking for a reliable and experienced drafting lawyer in the UAE, contact our drafting lawyer at Notary Public Dubai today. We can help you draft an agreement for inheritance distribution that suits your needs and protects your interests.