Thai Will and Succession

The process of inheriting assets in Thailand can be lengthy and complicated. A Thai Will can simplify the process and ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

In the absence of a legal will, property is divided among statutory heirs (survivor spouse, children, parents, full and half siblings, grandparents and aunts and uncles in specific order prescribed by law). In addition to a Will you can also make a Living Will – a document detailing your end of life wishes.

What is a Will?

A will is a document that lets a person choose their heirs and clearly outlines their last wishes. It also helps make the process of settling their estate easier and quicker.

A foreign national that spends significant time in Thailand or owns property in the country should consider making a Thai will. It is recommended that they do so with the assistance of a lawyer to ensure it complies with Thai law and has all the necessary information.

Having an up to date will is crucial for the smooth distribution of assets after death. It is important to review and update the document on a regular basis to reflect changes in life circumstances. A will should be drafted in both English and Thai and signed by two witnesses.

Who is a Beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person or organization that you would like to receive some or all of your assets after your death. This includes family members, friends, and charities. It is essential to clearly identify your beneficiaries in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out and to avoid confusion or disputes among family members.

It is also important to review and update your will on a regular basis. This way, it will reflect your current wishes and circumstances. It is recommended that you have at least two witnesses sign your will alongside you, so that they can certify its authenticity. These witnesses should be over the age of 15 and not have a conflict of interest in the contents of your will.

How is a Will Drafted?

In order for a will to be valid in Thailand it must be written down and signed in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will and must be over the age of 15.

An executor is also required to be appointed. This person is responsible for gathering and managing the deceased’s assets and property, paying any debts or taxes, and distributing them according to the instructions in the will.

A properly drafted will lets you choose your legal heirs and clearly outlines your last wishes. It makes settling your succession that much easier. For expats with assets in Thailand a will is a necessity. It is also a good idea to draft a Living Will to appoint a Health Care Representative and give them clear instructions for end of life care.

How is a Will Validated?

In order for a testament to be valid it must include the following:

A signature from the testator. Identifying information such as the testator’s name and address. Appointment of an executor and/or beneficiaries. The testator may also choose to make a holographic will, which is a testament written completely by the testator without any assistance from others.

The will should clearly outline the testator’s wishes for their property and assets after death. A testament can be amended or revoked at any time by the testator with a codicil. It must be dated and signed with the same formalities as the original testament. In addition, the document must be notarized. It is important that the will be clearly drafted and notarized so there is no ambiguity as to its meaning.

What Happens if You Die Without a Will?

If a person dies without a will, the law will decide who gets his or her assets. This is called intestate succession. Generally, a deceased person’s children will get an intestate share. But each state has its own laws on how this happens.

A lawyer can help a client structure his or her estate. This could involve setting up legal structures such as trusts. Estate planning requires substantial knowledge of Thai law and court procedures.

If a foreigner lives closely connected with Thailand (married to a Thai national, for example), he or she could make a Thai last will and choose Thai law to govern his or her estate. This can include a limited jurisdiction clause, limiting the application of the will to assets located in Thailand.

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