What if a Muslim Dies and Leaving Assets Outside of the UAE?


What if a Muslim dies and leaving assets outside of the UAE?


  1. It is important to note that Shariah inheritance rules are not automatically applied to assets of a Muslim person where such assets are located in a non-Shariah jurisdiction. Depending on the inheritance rules of the foreign country, a Muslim person may elect for the application of Shariah in a non-Shariah jurisdiction of their assets in accordance therewith;
  2. There are a number of factors that must be considered in drawing up a will and disturbing assets because each country has its own set of inheritance rules. One of the things that must be put into consideration is the tax implication of assets upon death. It is usually not tax efficient in common law countries as taxes are imposed on the inheritance;
  3. Inheritance rules also depend on the nationality, religion, domicile and last known residence of the deceased with regard to assets left in the foreign country.

In a decision rendered by Abu Dhabi High Court in Case No. 524/2010, if the shares were distributed according to Shariah rules for non-Muslim according to the request of one of the heirs, none of the other heirs will have the right to apply to get it distributed according to the deceased law.

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