What is HEBA in the UAE
The unconditional and immediate transfer of property without any consideration (payment or reservation) by one person to another is known as Heba, under Muslim law.
In other countries, the term GIFT may be similar to what is known as HEBA but for the purpose of this article, we are referring to the donation of property to another person without the expectation of anything in return.
Once Heba has occurred, the transaction is final. In the event Heba was granted during a period of sickness, however, this could be contested by the potentially rightful heirs of the property in question. Similarly, if the donation was made under threat or duress, it can be revoked which also applies to cases where the gift was granted because of dishonest or deceitful action.
The recipient must accept the gift and may be cancelled only after the recipient’s consent while the giver still lives. It may also be reversed by court order in case Heba was provided under stress or deception, or by a person who has not the legal competence or capacity to grant it, even if the recipient does not accept the donation. Heba may be delivered by written document or with witnesses, however, it is advisable to have both.
HEBA Law in Dubai
There are 2 conditions whereby Heba can be granted at a future date which relate to death and birth. Heba can be granted whereby the transfer of the property occurs on the death of the current owner. It is also possible to enact Heba for the benefit of an unborn child provided that the child is born within 6 months of the Heba being given.
As with most aspects of law, it is strongly advisable to have any Heba you wish to grant clarified in writing and to have a witness to further authenticate its validity. In principal, Heba can be given verbally but has a strong possibility to be contested later if this cannot be verified clearly.
An important point to note. Heba can be refused by the person it has been granted to so may be advisable to ensure the intended recipient is happy to receive it.