DIFC

Rules & Practice Directions

The Wills Service and the Registry are governed by a comprehensive set of Rules.

The Wills Service was established by Resolution No. 4 of 2014 issued by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC),and its authority re-affirmed by Dubai Law No. 15 of 2017 issued by his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, regulating inheritance, wills and probate for non-Muslims.

As a distinct entity, the Wills Service provides administrative support to the DIFC Courts Wills Registry for Non-Muslims (the ‘Registry’) where the register of DIFC Wills is held and where all probate matters and probate claims are handled.

The Wills Service and the Registry are governed by Dubai Law No. 15 of 2017 and a set of detailed rules (the ‘Rules’), as amended and supplemented by Practice Directions issued from time to time by the Dispute Resolution Authority. The Rules were developed by reference to international best practice and are based on ‘Common Law’ principles. The Rules echo the laws of the UK, Singapore and Malaysia and accord with UAE public policy and the spirit of UAE laws which provide non-Muslims the right to choose their home country law to govern inheritance matters.

The Wills Service is subject to the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts and it is through these Courts that Orders (‘Probate Orders’) directing the distribution of the deceased’s estate and/or the appointment of guardians in accordance with the Will are issued.


The Rules

The Rules were issued pursuant to the Dispute Resolution Authority Order No.1 of 2015, dated 29 April 2015 (as amended by subsequent Practice Directions listed below) and are set out in the following document:

The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules WORD link PDF link
The Dispute Resolution Authority Order No. 2 of 2017 In Respect of the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry and the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules WORD link PDF link
The Dispute Resolution Authority Order No. 1 of 2015 In Respect of the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules WORD link PDF link
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Useful Documents

The following documents are the most frequently requested.

Document Type Extracts from the Registry Rules Document
Full Will Schedule 1 - Form of Will 1 WORD doc PDF link
Guardianship Will Schedule 1 - Form of Will 2 WORD doc PDF link
Property Will Schedule 1 - Form of Will 3 PDF link
Free Zone Company Will Schedule 1 – Form of Will 4 PDF link
Financial Assets Will Schedule 1 - Form of Will 5 PDF link
Guardianship Witness Statement (pro forma) WORD doc PDF link
Will Registration Information Sheet (to be completed prior to appointment) WORD doc PDF link

Practice Directions

The Rules have been amended and supplemented by the following Practice Directions issued by the DIFC Dispute Resolution Authority:

Practice Direction Number Title Description Date Link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 8 of 2017 The WPR Rules Amendments to the WPR Rules to reflect the WPR’s name change and the creation of the DIFC Courts Wills Registry for Non-Muslims 28 November 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 7 of 2017 DIFC Wills and Probate Registry’s Form of Will 5 Introduction of the WPR’s Financial Assets Will as Form of Will 5 19 October 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 6 of 2017 The WPR Rules Amendments to Rules 9 and 10 of the Registry Rules and addition of definition of Authorised Service Provider 5 October 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 5 of 2017 The WPR’s Fees List of the current fees of the WPR 5 October 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 4 of 2017 The WPR’s Fee The WPR’s Fees 12 May 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 3 of 2017 DIFC Wills and Probate Registry’s Form of Will 4 Introduction of the WPR’s Free Zone Company Will as Form of Will 4 10 May 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 2 of 2017 The WPR Rules Amendment to Rule 10 section (8) of the WPR Rules regarding out of office Will registrations 3 April 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 1 of 2017 The WPR Rules Extension of the WPR Rules to the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah 5 March 2017 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 4 of 2016 The WPR’s Fees List of the current fees of the WPR 7 September 2016 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 3 of 2016 The WPR’s Property Will Introduction of the WPR’s Property Will as Form of Will 3 7 September 2016 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 2 of 2016 The WPR’s Definition of Probate Practitioner Clarification of the definition of ‘Probate Practitioner’ as contained in the WPR Rules 1 June 2016 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 1 of 2016 The WPR’s Register of Will Draftsmen Rules governing the requirements to be registered on the Register of Will Draftsmen 9 February 2016 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 2 of 2015 The Probate Application Forms and Witness Statement Probate application forms, guardians witness statements and executor witness statement in DIFC Wills and Probate matters 29 April 2015 PDF link
Dispute Resolution Authority Practice Direction 1 of 2015 The WPR’s Fees Initial list of fees of the WPR 29 April 2015 PDF link

DIFC Court Orders

The Rules and associated Practice Directions should be read in conjunction with the following DIFC Courts Order(s):

DIFC Courts Order Number Title Description Date Link
DIFC Courts Order No. 2 of 2015 The Rules of the DIFC Courts - Part 55 Contains Rules about probate, probate claims, rectification of Wills and claims and applications relating to removal and substitution of executors. 29 April 2015 PDF link