Expats in Bahrain should familiarise themselves with the local laws, even the ones that don’t affect you in your daily life. Preparing for the unforeseen is equally as important.
Here is what you should know in the unfortunate event that you pass away.
What inheritance law applies?
The answer to this question will depend on whether you are a Muslim or a non-Muslim expat.
For non-Muslim expats, the law of the country of the deceased will be applied when it comes to inheritance. However, if the laws of your home country state that the law where the property is located applies, then the Islamic Shariah law will apply to any property that you own in Bahrain.
For Muslim expats, all issues relating to inheritance will be governed by Islamic Shariah law. Essentially, the Bahraini courts will treat Muslim expats in the same way that Bahraini nationals are and apply their laws, regardless of your home country.
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Why should you have a will?
Regardless of whether you are Muslim or not, it is always advisable to have a will if you own property in Bahrain. That way, the Bahraini courts will ensure that the provisions of your will are applied.
When it comes to Bahraini nationals who own property abroad, usually the laws of the country where the property is situated will apply. In this case, it’s always advised to have a will in that country that dictates what should happen to that property.
Sale and Purchase Agreement clauses
In Bahrain, owners of property can have it transferred to someone, through gifting, inheritance or selling. However, it’s very important that the Sale and Purchase Agreement has a provision stating whether the consent of the property developer is needed or not.
It’s a common condition to have on the contract but many owners don’t notice it if they don’t have a lawyer look over the agreement. This will inevitably give the developer some advantage and could possibly lead to problems later on when you would like to sell or transfer the property.