2023 Changes to Inheritance Law – Federal Decree – Law No. (41) of 2022 On Civil Personal Status

2023 Changes to Inheritance Law – Federal Decree – Law No. (41) of 2022 On Civil Personal Status

Wills, Estates and Succession Planning

Who does the new law apply to: This law applies to Non-Muslim Residents of the United Arab Emirates.

The new law to take effect on the 1st of February 2023 will see the strict application of Sharia Law as we know it altered to make provision for the automatic inclusion of a spouse, children, parents, and siblings on the following basis: 

Under Article 11, the following will be applicable:
In the case of persons who pass away without having concluded a valid will, 50% of the estate shall be inherited by a surviving spouse. Should the deceased leave any surviving children, the  remainder of the estate shall be distributed equally among the children with no differentiation between males and females. This is a giant leap forward in the effort to address gender-based equality as it relates to inheritance, and a welcome change

In the event that a deceased leaves no children, the estate shall be divided equally to the surviving parents. Should only one parent remain, the estate shall be distributed equally between said parent and surviving siblings of the deceased, equally. 

In the event where both parents have passed away, the estate shall be divided equally amongst the surviving siblings without any prejudice. 

Article 12 states that guidance will be provided to assist with the process.

Article 13 refers to the Registration of Foreigner Wills. It states that both spouses may fill out a will registration form during the conclusion of the marriage contract to indicate the manner of distribution. 

Article 13, as far relates to persons who are to be married within the UAE, and not to persons already married, unless further information is provided following the date of this article.

We will receive further clarity on the law closer to the time, and as always will keep you informed of any such changes that may have a direct influence on your lives. The procedure currently for wills and inheritance remains the same unless indicated otherwise.

This is a general guide on the subject matter and should not be construed as specific legal advice.