DIFC Courts Offers Digital Service for Will Registration

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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has injected fresh digital systems for the registration of wills.

A joint initiative of the Government of Dubai and the DIFC Courts, the Wills Service has now re-engineered its digital service offering in light of the current pandemic and the government’s nationwide initiative to Stay Home and curb the spread of the virus, said a statement.

With individuals and businesses across the UAE currently operating remotely, the new video conferencing facility can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet or a desktop device, allowing residents of the UAE to register their Will remotely, from the safety and comfort of their own home.

The will registration process now also allows a Testator and two witnesses to join via video conferencing call from different locations, rather than having to be in the same place, as was previously the case. Wills can then be directly uploaded on to the system and electronic signatures can then be affixed to verify and witness the will. Once registered, it is stored as an encrypted file for 120 years on the DIFC Courts system.

Omar Al Muhairi, Deputy Chief Justice, DIFC Courts, said: “During the current global pandemic, where everyone is working from home and staying connected through various digital platforms, we look at it as an opportunity to further aid the general public through our digital infrastructure. This era of legal technological disruption allows us to work towards replacing outdated processes with emerging technologies to create real legal efficiency and certainty for individuals and the wider business community.”

There is also an option to use the Virtual Registry for the Property Will, Business Owners Will and Financial Assets Will, which allows those living overseas to create and register a DIFC Courts Will. Investors and former residents can access it from anywhere in the world and be connected, via video link, to a compliance officer sitting in Dubai.

Certain minimum requirements must be met for a will to be registrable. To find a suitable lawyer, the Wills Service publishes a list of legal practitioners that have met certain minimum standards in relation to their knowledge of the rules and the drafting of DIFC Courts Wills.

Reem Al Shihhe, Chief Operating Officer, DIFC Courts, said: “We understand this is a difficult time for people and have listened to feedback from the public. Our mandate as a courts service is to provide choice through service excellence. By harnessing innovation, it is our hope that this small technological implementation can bring some added comfort and certainty to the public when engaging with the Wills process.”

The DIFC Courts also provides an online automated will drafting service for the Property Will, Business Owners Will and Financial Assets Will, with comprehensive explanatory notes, should you wish to draft the will yourself. To draft a Full Will yourself you can download the minimum requirements document from the Wills Service website.

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