UAE Law – What Happens If An Expat Dies Outside The UAE Without A Will 

What is the law covering one’s bank account if a migrant in the country has an eventual death without registering a will in the nation? Does the money go to a family member, or is it held by the bank?

According to the questionings, the conditions of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 regarding the personal status and the conditions of Law No, 14 of 2021 on Personal status for non-Muslim Foreigners in the emirate of Abu Dhabi for the matter of heritage in the country if a person passes away.

In the United Arab Emirates, if a person passes, the bank account of the departed would be closed by the relevant bank in the country once it knows of their death. Subsequently, a family member who is considered to be one of the legal beneficiaries of the departed require to get a certificate of the succession of the departed from the personal status court in the relevant emirate of the UAE where the dead is based.

Depending on the application filed by a legal beneficiary, the court, on the deposition of two spectators, can grant a certificate of succession about the share of every legal beneficiary according to the conditions of the Personal Status Law of UAE, if the dead hasn’t documented the will.

Subsequently, the legal heirs require to open an estate case at the court and present the certificate of sequence with other documents, comprising the information of all portable and rooted assets, investments, comprising bank accounts, and personal identification papers of the departed.

Ahead, the legal beneficiaries require to present their identification documents and information about their relevant bank accounts. The court, depending on the application by the legal beneficiaries, will allocate the support to the legal beneficiaries depending on the ratio of the stake specified in the certificate of succession on the removal of loan repayments, fines, credit card funds, and utility bills, and others.

Depending on the above, the legal beneficiaries of the vacated who die willless would be decided by the court according to the conditions of the Personal Status Law of the UAE. Article 321 of the Personal Status Law of the UAE says who will be the legal beneficiaries of a person who passes away.


Forced heritage is a certain stake for a beneficiary in the inheritance. The certain stakes are – one half, on-quarter, One-eighth, two-thirds, one-third, one-sixth, and one-third of the balance. The unintended beneficiaries are – The two parents, the spouses, the paternal grandfather or his lineal ancestors, the grandmother who isn’t about the departed by a beneficiary, daughters, the daughters of the son or of his offspring, sisters in the fundamental, and the related brother.

Ahead, Article 322 to Article 328 of the Personal Status Law of the UAE specifies the degrees of succession.

Although, the non-Muslim tenants of the Abu Dhabi emirate are governed by the conditions of the Abu Dhabi Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims. In the event of the death of a non-Muslim individual away who is a tenant of Abu Dhabi, the support, comprising bank accounts, would be allocated according to the Article 11 (2) & (3) of the Abu Dhabi Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims which states about the allocation of property.

The stated provision of law says that “In terms, a spouse passes away, the half of the inheritance goes to the surviving spouse and the remaining half is split equally amongst the kids, without distinction between males and females. If the dead spouse has no kid, then the half of the inheritance will be granted to their parents equally, or the half of the inheritance will be granted to their siblings. In terms of the absence of parents, the estate of parents, the estate will be granted to their siblings in comparable stakes for men and women.

Notwithstanding the conditions of paragraph (2) above, any beneficiaries of an overseas can approach the application of the law applicable to the inheritance as per the conditions of the civil code, until there’s a documented will to the opposite.”

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