- Legal Articles
- Ask Elhais
February 02, 2023|
When a person dies intestate, it becomes very difficult for those left behind to gain access of his estate since they cannot be dealt with or transferred without court orders. This results in immense financial problems and unreasonable delays. Therefore, it is advised that a person should execute a will in his lifetime so that his family is freed from the distress it would otherwise experience.
However, laws in the UAE provide for the division of assets in case a person dies without executing a will. The inheritance laws of the country are separate for Muslims and non-Muslims, since Muslims are governed by the Sharia whereas non-Muslims have their own personal law, or can choose to apply the law of their home country if they are expats. In addition to the application of their respective personal laws, some provisions of the Civil Transactions Law of 1985 will also be applicable.
Inheritance: Inheritance is defined, under Article 313 of the UAE Personal Status Law of 2005, as devolution of property and rights after the death of their owner. It is basically a transfer of assets of a deceased person to those legally entitled.INHERITANCE FOR NON-MUSLIMS
Articles 11 and 12 of Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022, on Civil Personal Status, govern inheritance for non-Muslims.
Article 11(2): If a non-Muslim dies intestate, then his assets will be divided according to the following rules:
A person can bequeath all the assets located within the UAE to a person designated by him, as per Article 11(1). Also, under Article 11(3) of the Civil Personal Status and Article 17(1) of the Civil Transactions Law, an heir of a foreign person can request the application of the law of their home country for devolution of assets, unless the same is contradicted by a registered will. The Civil Transactions Law also states that if a foreign person has no heir, his assets in the country will be held by the government.
The procedure for inheritance is to be determined by a Cabinet decision, as mentioned under Article 12 of the law.
INHERITANCE FOR MUSLIMS
Sharia provisions for inheritance are vast and detail-oriented, running in more than 40 articles. However, before summarizing the rules, there are certain points that need to be kept in mind while determining the assets of a deceased Muslim:
Forced inheritance: Certain heirs have a fixed share in the assets as per Article 321 of the law, meaning that they are never excluded unless they do not exist altogether. They get their shares first, even if that does not leave any remainder for the rest of the classes of heirs. Their shares are fixed as halves, one-fourth, one-eighth, two-thirds, one-third, one-sixth, and one-third of the remainder, and are distributed as per Articles 322 to 328, under definite conditions:
If the assets are not exhausted after the forced heirs get their share, they will be divided among the residuary. If there are no residuary heirs, the remaining assets will be divided evenly among the forced heirs. In the absence of forced or residuary heirs, the assets will be divided among the extended family members. If the deceased does not have any beneficiaries at all, the assets will pass on to the government.
Conclusion: It may seem that the inheritance law under the Sharia is very complex, but it allows the inclusion of all the legitimate beneficiaries to claim from the assets of the deceased. A non-Muslim may execute a will so that administration of the property can become easier for the courts.
Copyright © of this article is retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. We explicitly grant you permission to download a copy, without any alteration, of this article for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or any charge. This article can be utilized on your website or for marketing, however, we grant you permission to host this article on your website and no other rights. This content should not be altered in any way or sold commercially in any format without prior permission of the copyright holder. During reference of this article, full biographic details entailing the name of the author, his designation, the institute and the publishing date of the article shall be provided.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.
...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...
I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.
Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.
He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.
Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.
Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.
I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.
Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.