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The administration of a deceased's estate (a process referred to as 'probate') for someone who had registered their Will at the DIFC Courts' Wills Registry for Non-Muslims (the 'Registry'), is undertaken by the person(s) nominated in the Will for this purpose (the 'Executor(s)'). They must first file an application at the Registry (in the prescribed form - see below) for a Grant of Probate and pay the appropriate fee.
Upon receipt of the application form and associated paperwork, the Registry will assign a Case Progression Officer to be the Executors' point of contact for all dealings throughout the probate proceedings. This includes, if applicable, the submission of a Grant of Probate or Guardianship Order to the Dubai Courts for 'conversion' to a Dubai Courts' judgement. This administrative formality (established pursuant to the 'Protocol of Enforcement' between the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts) allows the Executor to deal directly with the Execution Department of the Dubai Courts. It is this Department which will then instruct the authorities relevant to the deceased's assets (such as Dubai Land Department, free zone authorities and financial institutions) to distribute the estate assets in accordance with the terms of the DIFC Will and give directions on guardianship arrangements, if applicable.
The Executor(s) may wish to seek full legal assistance in administering an estate. If this is the case they can instruct a lawful attorney to file an application at the Registry (in the prescribed form) for a Grant of Probate. This will be issued to the lawful attorney for the use and benefit of the Executor(s) allowing the lawful attorney to administer the deceased's estate.
The Executor(s) may wish to file an application at the Registry for a Grant of Probate and seek legal assistance in relation to some matters relating to the probate proceedings. In this case, the Executors(s) may still file the application however a Power of Attorney can be put in place to appoint their lawful attorney to assist where necessary. A Power of Attorney must be prepared by a lawful attorney.
Probate is carried out in accordance with the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules (the 'Rules') and all other laws applicable in the DIFC. The Rules govern the Wills Service, the Registry and the DIFC Courts and a copy of the Rules can be located here.
The DIFC Courts will, in the first instance, deal with any claims, further applications and objections that may arise during probate proceedings.