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New retirement visas likely to drive long-term inheritance planning for UAE expats

Wednesday, September 19, 2018/ Editor -  

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DIFC Wills Service Centre expects significant increase in Will registrations as residents protect their property and investments after retirement

September 19, 2018 - Dubai, UAE: The head of the DIFC Wills Service Centre says he’s expecting a significant increase in the number of foreign residents registering new Wills as a result of the Government’s recently announced 5-year retirement visa.

Sean Hird, Director of the WSC, says the retirement visa is the latest in a series of carefully calibrated Government legal initiatives to ensure that the UAE remains the GCC’s top destination for overseas investment.

He believes that foreign residents and business owners who choose to stay after retirement will now commit to firm financial planning, rather than putting off important decisions. In particular, he expects them to choose a DIFC Will to pass on their wealth, allowing them to follow the inheritance laws or customs of their home country.

Mr Hird said: “The new visa allows time for those who have acquired property and built businesses here to consider their next steps at the end of their working lives.”

“It reinforces investor confidence, enhances economic stability and should stimulate further growth in one of the world’s most dynamic and forward-thinking nations.”

“The people who will receive the new visa have significant wealth. They will now have to think long and hard about how to protect their assets as they grow older.”

“The obvious step is to take out a recognized and enforceable DIFC Will and we expect a significant growth in DIFC Will registrations.”

This week’s visa announcement follows last year’s introduction of new legislation streamlining the administration and enforcement of Wills in Dubai for non-Muslim residents and overseas investors.

Mr Hird says the retirement visa is the next logical step, reflecting the reality that people will continue to live in a place where they feel secure and have lifetime investments.

The five-year visa, with possible further extensions, was announced earlier this week. It will be on offer to over-55s who have either invested Dh2 million in property, hold Dh1 million in savings or have an active monthly income of more than Dh 20,000.


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