UAE family matters: Is an ex-wife entitled to inheritance?

A reader asks if the ex-wife of a deceased man and their daughter are entitled to inherit.

Powered by automated translation

Q: My friend was married to a Muslim man and they had a daughter together before he divorced her. He recently passed away, leaving another ­daughter from his first wife, whom he divorced before marrying my friend. What share would my friend and her daughter be entitled to in her former husband's assets, along with his brothers and sisters? Which authority should she approach for the inheritance processes?

A: According to the Personal Status Law, divorced wives will not be entitled to any shares in a former husband’s assets if the iddah [waiting] period has been completed. The daughters would be entitled to half each of their dead father’s assets, if he was not survived by his parents or siblings. If his parents are alive then the daughters’ share would be one third each, and the remaining one third would be the parents’ share. If his parents are not alive but he is survived by siblings the shares would be ­calculated in accordance with the Personal Status Law depending on the number and gender of siblings.

Inheritance issues are ­determined by the respective courts in each emirate and an ­inheritance certificate can be applied for to get the shares each party is entitled to. This inheritance certificate would then form the basis on which assets are

If you have a question for Mr Elhais, email with the subject line ‘Family Matters’.