Whether you have a property or bank accounts, it is important to make a Will and settle your succession. This will protect your last wishes and prevent any disputes.
Unlike other countries, Thailand does not have forced heirship so if you die without a Will your estate will be distributed according to the different classes of statutory heirs with descendants and spouses having priority.
If you own property in Thailand whether it be a villa, condo, land or bank deposits, it is important that you have a properly drafted Thai Will. A well written Will will ensure your estate/assets are distributed to the persons you desire.
A Will can also give you the opportunity to nominate an administrator (Executor) for the estate, name Guardians for children, provide for Donations/Legacy and exclude or include persons as desired. A lawyer who specializes in Thai Inheritance law can assist you in this area.
Under Thai laws the surviving spouse is automatically a statutory heir of the deceased and half of the common property/estate is assigned to the surviving spouse before distribution to other relatives. The remaining half of the estate is distributed among classes 4, 5, 6 (half blood sisters and brothers, full blood brother and sister, grandparents and uncles and aunts). These classes are determined by a legal procedure. Having an experienced lawyer help you with your Thai Will and Succession can ensure that the process is smooth, cost effective and that your wishes are followed.
Wills & Trusts
In Thailand if you die without a Will the law decides who gets your wealth and property (See clause 1599 of the Civil and Commercial Code). A well drafted Last Will can save your family and loved ones a lot of grief and hassle.
Estate administration and planning involve a lawyer working with his client to structure their assets and plan how these are to be distributed in the event of their death. This often involves the establishment of trusts and other legal structures.
It is very important that a foreigner who lives in Thailand drafts a Thai Will. This covers all of their assets in Thailand including investments, bank accounts and personal property. If a foreigner dies in Thailand without a Will, the family of their deceased partner can stake a claim to all their assets in the country. A good lawyer will be able to advise you on this. A Will can normally be drafted quickly and cheaply.
A living will is a document that outlines your medical preferences for situations where you are not in the best shape to make your own decisions. It can include standard directives like a statement that you do not want life-prolonging procedures administered or continued if your chances of recovery are less than a certain percentage; specific treatment choices (like whether you want CPR, mechanical ventilation to assist with breathing, artificial hydration and nutrition or organ donation); and palliative care wishes.
You should provide a copy of your living will to your health care proxy and give others copies as well. It is important to update your living will periodically because people’s values and preferences change over time. You can also prepare advance directives that include powers of attorney for financial decisions and a health care surrogate, in addition to your living will. These documents protect your family and friends from having to make heart-wrenching decisions on your behalf in a crisis.
The drafting of a will is an important process for anyone that owns assets in Thailand and who wants to make sure they are protected in the event of their death. It involves an attorney and client working together to structure a legal plan for the assets and their disposition in the event of the testator’s death. This often includes the establishment of trusts and other legal structures.
If a person dies without a will or with a will that does not cover all of their assets, they have died intestate. In this event, their assets are handed over to probate courts who determine beneficiaries and allocate assets. Property generally goes to a surviving spouse, children and extended family members. If no heirs are found, the property reverts to the state.
It is essential that the executor of a Thai Will be resident in Thailand and that their identity and role are clearly defined in the will. The will should also be properly authenticated by the court (Clause 1646 CCC).