“After losing her father and after I was arrested for a facebook post, Paris’ now has to face losing her inheritance to her father’s second wife”, Paris’s mother Laleh Shahravesh told Detained in Dubai who secured her recent release.
Paris Shahravesh was shocked to hear that so swiftly following her father’s death, his new wife had already arranged for a succession certificate to organised so she could claim the entirety of her late husband’s £500,000 estate.
Neither Paris nor her mother were contacted by any parties and Paris was not included as an heir. She had since discovered that Paris was not included as an heir because the courts were advised that she is not Muslim. Laleh confirmed “My family has always been Muslim and Pedro converted to Islam. Paris has never been Christian and given that she is a minor, is considered under Sharia law to be Muslim”.
In any case, the court should not have made any determination in the absence of the sole heir to her father’s estate.
Lawyers for Shahravesh have been granted a court date of the 12th of June where they will contest the disbursement. In documents filed with the court, lawyers highlighted that Samah Al Hammadi had “deliberately omitted to mention his daughter Paris, in the succession certificate”.
According to the civil courts in Dubai, which adhere to an interpretation of Islamic Law, non-Muslims cannot inherit from Muslims; thus misinforming the court that Laleh and her daughter with Pedro are Christians seemed to be aimed at depriving Paris of her inheritance. The case will be heard on the 12th of June, and the court will be advised that Paris is, in fact, entitled as an heir under Dubai law.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, who represented Laleh throughout her ordeal, commented, “It would be atrocious for the Dubai courts to deny Paris of her rightful inheritance. She is Pedro’s sole blood heir and should not be excluded by the manipulation of the legal system. We have seen this happen to many families in similar circumstances after the death of a family member, it is a horrendous trauma to have to endure”.
Foreign nationals living in the UAE need to seriously consider estate planning to protect their families from civil laws that might contradict their wishes.
Radha Stirling, is founder and CEO of UK / USA based legal and human rights organisation Detained in Dubai, Expert Witness and respected analyst of Middle East Policy.
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