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Expatriate Health Insurance News: Expats in the UAE urged to write will

Expatriates living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been advised to write a will in order to ensure that their assets are divided how they wish in the event of their death.

Emphasis has been put on this legal process in a recent report published in the country's Ministry of Interior publication, 999 Magazine.

It is particularly important for those living in a Muslim country, such as the UAE, otherwise Sharia law or local rules could be placed on inheritors.

Under Sharia law, the majority of an estate passes to the male bloodline, which can mean wives and female partners are left with just one-eighth of their partner's assets if no will has been drawn up.

Emirati lawyer Hussain Al Jaziri told Gulf News: "Oftentimes the family of the deceased can obtain official documents from their country of origin asking that distribution of assets be done according to their country of citizenship."

Despite this relatively straightforward process being open to expats, only ten to 20 per cent of those resident in the UAE have carried it out to cover them should they die unexpectedly.

Also important for expat families is to ensure that clear instructions as to who looks after the children are also left behind.

Otherwise it will be up to the courts to decide and could mean that the intentions of the parents are not followed.

Without a last will and testament, it can take a long time for assets to be released and when they are, large taxes are often inflicted upon them.

This means that the financial burden of looking after the children can be passed onto grandparents or other relatives for a long time after the parents' death.

Lieutenant Colonel Awad Saleh Al Kindi, editor-in-chief of 999, told the news provider: "There's a need for residents to be aware of the inheritance rules in the country. This is important to preserve peace and harmony within the family, which forms the basic unit of our society."

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