Very few experiences in life can be compared to the pain of losing someone you love. While dealing with difficult emotions, we often have to take care of certain legal matters that follow the death of a loved one. One such matter can be administering the estate of the individual in case any assets were owned. This involves a legal process that is formally known as probate. Through this process, the courts in the UAE distribute the assets owned by the deceased among the legal heirs. These assets can be bank accounts, real estate property, vehicles, investments, etc.

How Does Probate Work?

The process of probate is initiated by determining if the deceased individual had left behind a Will. If yes, the individual appointed as the executor in the Will is responsible for administering the estate, and making sure that it is passed on to the rightful inheritors.

The role of the executor involves a broad range of duties. Below we have listed some examples of the duties that the executor of a DIFC Will needs to perform:

  1. Filing the probate application forms
  2. Obtaining the death certificate
  3. Arranging the necessary documentation and presenting it to the authorities
  4. Determining if there are additional assets that have not been listed in the Will
  5. Collecting the Grant of Probate

Grant of Probate

As mentioned earlier, the executor of the Will must apply for the Grant of Probate. It is recommended that this application be done as soon as the testator ( i.e. the individual who wrote the Will) passes away. Through the Grant of Probate, the executor can further fulfill his duties related to administering the estate. Once this document has been obtained, the executor can approach the banks, relevant government authorities, and third parties, and ensure that the assets of the deceased are distributed.

How Does a Registered Will Simplify Probate?

As we know, a Will lists the assets owned by the individual and clearly names the beneficiaries who will inherit them. This greatly simplifies the probate process in the UAE courts. With a Will in Abu Dhabi and other Emirates in the UAE, the complex process of determining the legal heirs is eliminated, resulting in a much shorter and seamless probate that immensely benefits the legal heirs of the deceased.

Can Probate be Avoided in the UAE?

Though probate in the UAE can be simplified with a Will, the question remains whether it can be avoided entirely. Well, the answer is yes. Through legal structures like foundations, probate can be avoided. A foundation can hold assets like cash, company shares, and investment bonds, and these can be passed on to the beneficiaries in the exact way the founder of the foundation wishes.

What happens in the Absence of a Will?

If the deceased person has no registered Will in his name, the courts have to determine the legal heirs. Usually, this ends up being a complex affair, and it often takes significant time until the legal heirs inherit the assets in question. Moreover, the assets of the deceased may remain frozen, adding to the family’s difficulties. Hence, the absence of a Will does lead to prolonged and complex probate.

Now, one may ask what is to be done if the legal heirs are not in the UAE to handle these affairs. In other cases, it is also possible for some to simply prefer not to go through the hassle of this legal process on their own. In this case, making an inheritance power of attorney in the UAE is the recommended course of action. Through this document, the legal heir(s) can appoint an individual on their behalf to act during probate-related proceedings.

Below are some powers that can be assigned through an inheritance POA in the UAE:

  1. Applying for the Grant of Probate
  2. Obtaining the succession certificate
  3. Appointing lawyers on behalf of the legal heirs
  4. Representing legal heirs before the relevant authorities like land departments, banks, transport authorities, etc.

JustPOA is a power of attorney service provider in the UAE and can assist you in making an inheritance POA in the most seamless way. From drafting to notarizing, our experts will take care of all the steps involved in making your power of attorney, and have it prepared in no time.