Thai Will Preparation – No matter how healthy or vivacious, it is wise for any individual to consider the writing of a Last Will & Testament that represents their wishes in the event of an unexpected death.
It is not a pleasant thought to think of such an event, but planning in advance regarding your estate will be less stressful to your berieved family if you depart before they do.
- If an Expat dies in Thailand, the government officer will usually ask the family for a copy of a Thai Will or contact the deceased person’s lawyer for this document. Drafting a Will in your home country to cover assets in Thailand may be problematic and burdensome to your family as documentations and it would need to be translated into Thai, notarized and approved by a government body. Many Expats choose to draft a separate Thai Will regarding their assets in Thailand.
- TSL provides legal services for drafting a Thai Will prepared to be applicable both in Thailand and in your home country. The Thai Will should list your assets in Thailand, (e.g. property, bank accounts, vehicle, and personal items). If you buy a property in Thailand it has value after you sign the contract and make an initial payment; hence even before the transfer of the property you will have an asset to consider in your estate planning and Thai Will.
DRAFTING A THAI WILL FOR ASSETS IN THAILAND OR OVERSEAS
In the event that there is no Thai will, the intestate’s assets will be distributed in accordance with the classes of relations as stipulated in the CCC Section 1629 which are, in order of priority:
- Brothers and sisters of full blood;
- Brothers and sisters of half blood;
- Grandfathers and grandmothers;
- Uncles and aunts.
- Before any distribution of the estate to the relatives, half of the estate (property which is “commonly-owned” by the couple), also known as Sin Somros, will belong to the spouse , if any.
- The remaining property will be equally distributed accordingly. If there are no living relations and no Thai Will, the estate will devolve on to the State. As such, we do strongly recommend making a Thai Will to cover all of your properties and assets in Thailand.
- For those who own land under a company on a freehold basis, upon your demise your property would not simply be passed on to your heirs. Instead, it would be passed on in the form of shares. In the other words, your heir will receive shares of the company as opposed to the actual property itself which can involve complicated legal mechanisms. It is therefore strongly recommended that you arrange for professional preparation of a Thai Will.
LEASEHOLD AND YOUR THAI WILL
- For those who acquired a property under a leasehold structure, the lease is a personal right which is not attached to the property itself and which is terminated when the lessee dies. If an individual has a renewable long term lease and has already paid the rent in advance, there should be a succession clause in the lease contract which allows transfer of the lease to your heir. A well written Thai Will should also state the clear intention to pass on such rights to your loved ones.
DO YOU NEED A LAWYER TO PREPARE A THAI WILL?
- A major concern for many Expats is the minimization of risk and the security of an investment in their property, and there are certainly no shortage of shocking stories of property disputes in Thailand. Having a properly prepared bilingual Thai Will in both Thai and your own language will eliminate much of the risk. TSL & Associates strongly advises some professional advice from a trusted professional who will represent your interest and understand your needs.
- Thai Will and Estate planning is certainly not something that we like to think about, but procrastination does not help. Preparing a good estate plan in the form of a well written Last Will and Testament will give you great peace of mind knowing that when you finally pass away, you have already planned to take care of your loved ones.
- At TSL & Associates, our experienced lawyers (Expats and Thai) have the language and expertise to prepare and customise your Thai Will, and the experience to help you navigate through what may otherwise be an unpleasant but necessary process, making sure that your properties will be going to your chosen beneficiaries should the unexpected happens.
Notes Regarding a Thai Will:
- Choosing a Thai law firm specialising in international law to assist you with your Thai Will will ensure that it is properly drafted and avoid having legal difficulties in the future.
- If you would like assistance with your Thai Will please consult TSL & Associates.