Last Will and Testament Prepared Under English Law

At Great British Wills we specialise in providing: The Last Will and Testament, Guardianship and Estate Planning advice on worldwide assets to those who are originally from England or Wales. We also provide Wills for those of any nationality who have assets in England or Wales. If we cannot help, we will search our global network of professional estate planners for someone who can.


UAE Federal Law 28 of 2005 on Personal Status Article 1(2) is generally interpreted to mean that where a non-Muslim has a Last Will and Testament prepared under the law of their home country, this can be used for some assets within the UAE. Notably, not real estate. Click the link for more information on Wills In Dubai


The UK contains 3 different legal jurisdictions: England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are small but important differences in each jurisdiction. Therefore, it is essential that your Last Will and Testament is prepared under the correct law if it is to be recognised by the UAE authorities.


Most expats still have some or most of their assets in their home country, so regardless of the need for a Will in the UAE, there is usually a very good reason to have a Will prepared under the law of your home country for those assets. For information on what happens in England and Wales if you do not have an English Will, known as intestacy, click here.


Advantages Of Using a Home Country Will

  • Home Country Wills are usually much cheaper to prepare than those available via Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)
  • They are effective for the appointment of legal guardians [although you should have a local document for temporary guardianship]
  • Your Will lasts for as long as you need it. DIFC Wills are only relevant whilst you live and/or have assets in the UAE
  • Where required a Home Country Will can be structured to be tax-efficient [death duties apply for UK expats on their worldwide assets]


Disadvantages Of Using a Home Country Will

  • The cost of administering your UAE estate via the local courts, if you die whilst resident or owning assets here, will be higher than other options open to you.
  • The degree of certainty you have with the distribution of assets within the UAE is lower than with other options.
  • You cannot gift real estate within the UAE under a Home Country Will

Your personal circumstances will dictate which option is best for you.


Next Steps

Before you meet with a Will writer, to write your Last Will and Testament, you will need to read our terms of service and consider some important questions.


When you are sure of your answers, you should click here to access my online diary and to book a meeting or call me on 050 594 5217.


During this meeting, I will answer any questions you have.

+971 50 594 5217



Why pay for a Will, if you do not need it? In some circumstances, there is no need for a Will. However, for expatriates living in UAE, this is very rare.

Where no valid Will exists or no Will can be found the deceased will be treated as having died ‘intestate’. The treatment of the deceased’s assets depends on factors such as where the assets are located.

For assets in UK, married couples with children have a right to all of their deceased spouse’s personal effects as well as the first £270,000 of the estate plus half of any amount over £270,000. The balance is distributed evenly between the children. This can cause problems. For instance, where the main asset is the matrimonial home and one of the children wants their inheritance causing the property to be sold.

Situation in Dubai Where There Is No Will

Where there are assets in UAE and there is no Will the situation is complex, local law requires a Sharia scholar to be appointed. This person will oversee the distribution of the assets within UAE in accordance with Sharia principles. The distribution will depend on the relatives of the deceased and others who may make a legitimate claim on the assets such as lenders.

For further information, please contact us.