How the new UAE law on wills and inheritance affects you – Pocketful of Dirhams

A person's citizenship will now dictate how their assets are divided among their next of kin

The UAE government has embarked on one of the biggest overhauls of the legal system in years.

Among the changes are amendments to family and personal law with new regulations covering divorce, couples living together and other areas affecting people’s daily lives.

From a personal finance perspective, however, one of the most interesting changes centres on wills and inheritance.

Until now, when someone died, family members may have had the assets of their loved ones divided according to Sharia - something expatriates living in the Emirates were not always familiar with.

Now, a person's citizenship will dictate how their assets are divided among their next of kin, unless they have written a will.

So how significant is this change? When will it take effect? And what does it mean for people looking to write a will now?

Host Alice Haine is joined by Siri Hashem, senior counsel at UAE law firm Fichte and Co, and Devanand Mahadeva, head of the inheritance and personal law practice of the Goodwins Group in the UAE.

Listen to last week's episode on whether we are saving enough to fund a 100-year life.