As part of Dubai’s e-government innovation agenda, DIFC Wills and Probate Registry has launched the world’s first Virtual Registry.
Designed for overseas asset-holders, the new smart service enables eligible investors living outside of the UAE to create, register, witness and store a Will for Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah assets from anywhere in the world.
From today (1st October 2017), eligible investors living abroad with real estate assets or shareholdings in Free Zone companies in Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah can create and register a Will online from anywhere around the world.
This first-of-its-kind service provides a simple online template for property assets and Free Zone company shares to be completed via the Registry’s website. The draft Will can then be registered in real time by video conferencing a Registry Officer based in Dubai. In a break with traditional legal requirements, clients and witnesses no longer need to attend a registration appointment onsite to create a binding legal document.
“We are providing easy access to security and peace of mind, where individuals can easily create a binding and legally valid Will completely online that enables them to pass property and shares on to their chosen beneficiaries,” said Sean Hird, Director, DIFC Wills & Probate Registry. “In offering this new system, the Registry is supporting overseas investors in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.”
The property Will allows those with real estate assets to secure up to five properties in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. Likewise, Free Zone company shareholders in both Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah can directly protect up to five shareholdings and guarantee business continuity through the single purpose Free Zone Company Will.
Hird continued, “To date we have registered more than 3,000 Wills at the Registry. The Virtual Registry is part of our broader strategy to make registering a Will accessible to more people and we continue to take significant steps towards this. We have also secured major strategic partnerships with international banks such as Citibank where global investors residing outside of the UAE can utilise easy payment arrangements to the Registry.”
The registration cost of a single property Will is AED 7,500 and that of two mirror property Wills is AED 10,000. Those who register their Will using the online service will have the option to verify their identity documents through a network of over 2,500 identity verification centres worldwide operated by the Registry’s partner, VFS Global.