What Happens If You Die Without A Will In Dubai?

Death is a topic that nobody likes to think about, let alone plan for. However, failing to create a will can leave your loved ones facing significant challenges after your passing. This issue is particularly relevant for expatriates living in Dubai who may not be familiar with local laws regarding inheritance and estate distribution. That’s why it’s crucial to seek guidance from professionals such as Just Wills Dubai to ensure that your wishes are carried out according to your desires.

Application of Sharia law:

In the absence of a will, the distribution of the deceased’s assets in Dubai is governed by Sharia law, specifically the UAE Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on the Civil Transactions Law. Under Sharia law, the deceased’s estate is divided among their heirs according to predetermined rules based on familial relationships, with specific shares allocated to spouses, children, parents, and other relatives.

Division of assets:

The division of assets under Sharia law may not necessarily align with the deceased’s wishes or the preferences of their surviving family members. For example, if the deceased is survived by a spouse and children, the spouse may inherit one-third or one-fourth of the estate, while the remaining portion is divided among the children. Other relatives, such as parents or siblings, may also be entitled to a share of the estate depending on their relationship to the deceased.

Appointment of guardianship:

If the deceased has minor children, dying without a will in Dubai may result in the courts appointing guardians to care for the children and manage their affairs. The appointed guardians may not necessarily be the individuals the deceased would have chosen, leading to disputes or disagreements among family members regarding the upbringing and welfare of the children.

Lengthy probate process:

The process of administering the deceased’s estate without a will can be lengthy and complex, as it involves identifying and valuing assets, settling debts and liabilities, and distributing the estate according to the laws of intestacy. Without clear instructions from a will, the probate process may be subject to delays and legal challenges, prolonging the resolution of the estate and causing additional stress for surviving family members.


Dying without a will in Dubai may also increase the likelihood of disputes or disagreements among family members regarding the division of assets and the appointment of guardians. Without clear instructions from a will, surviving family members may contest the distribution of the estate or challenge the appointment of guardians, leading to protracted legal proceedings and strained relationships.

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