If a Muslim Dies, What Law Will Govern His UAE Estate?


Question:

If a Muslim dies, what law will govern his UAE estate?

 

Answer:

  1. It is a basic rule in the UAE that matters pertaining to the inheritance of a Muslim shall be dealt with in accordance with Sharia principles. Hence, the nationality of the Muslim who dies leaving assets in the UAE will not be taken into consideration. However, since Sharia may differ in some principles or schools of thought followed in different countries the person may request the court for the application of Sharia law of his home country;
  2. Distribution of assets is fixed as per reserved portions. There are also pre-determined heirs who receive from reserved portions;
  3. To illustrate: If a husband and wife have children and the husband dies, the wife receives 1/8 of the UAE estate and when it’s the wife who dies, the husband receives of her UAE assets;
  4. Sons receive double share of the daughter and parents of the deceased receive 1/6 of the estate;
  5. A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim and in the same vein, a Muslim person cannot also inherit from a non-Muslim person.

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