Thai Will and Succession. A Will is a document in which an individual expresses their wishes regarding the distribution of property and assets upon death. The document must meet certain requirements under Thai law.
If a person dies without leaving a Will, their estate is distributed according to Thai law on intestate succession (Book VI of the Civil and Commercial Code). A Will can help ensure that heirs receive what they are entitled to.
The process of inheriting in Thailand can become complicated if the deceased died without a will (or with an unenforceable one). In that case the property is handed over to a probate court and is allocated according to Thai inheritance law. The property may be given to the surviving spouse, children, extended family members and descendants. However, if there are no heirs or they cannot be located the property reverts to the state.
Making a Will is the best way to prevent complications in this respect. It allows you to choose your Legal Heirs, appoint the Administrator of your estate, appoint Guardians in case of minor children and even provide for Donations/Legs. It should be drafted by a qualified lawyer. In addition a list of all assets (including properties with contracts, cars, cash in bank accounts, shares and other investments) should be provided. Moreover, the Executor named in the Will must reside in Thailand in order to carry out all procedures and obtain the final sentence certificate.
Executing a Will
When you die, it will take some time to distribute your assets in accordance with your Will. It will be faster for your executors and beneficiaries if you have gathered all the necessary documents beforehand. This includes a detailed list of local and overseas assets (including real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings), and copies of passport and proof of residence.
A law firm specializing in Thai Wills can help you with this. They will know the ins and outs of writing a proper Will, so it won’t be subject to any future disputes.
In addition to a written will, you must also choose your executors and witnesses. The witnesses must be at least 18 years old. If you don’t have a Will, your assets will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy to your statutory heirs. This may result in the distribution of your assets contrary to your wishes. A proper Will is a guarantee that your wishes will be respected.
Intestacy occurs when a person passes away without a legally binding will. Intestacy laws determine who inherits an estate, and in what order. Typically property goes first or in major part to a spouse, then to any children and their descendants, and then to extended family members. If no heirs can be found, the inheritance usually reverts to the state.
The process of obtaining assets for a deceased loved one can be very complicated, particularly if the deceased owned properties in Thailand. In such cases, a statutory heir must file an application with the court. This must be accompanied by the death certificate of the deceased, family tree with divorces or separations, list of properties and details of the administrator identity.
The statutory heirs must also present documentation to prove their identity and kinship with the deceased. Once the application is filed and approved, the process to obtain the deceased’s assets can begin. This can be a lengthy and difficult process for all parties involved, but is vital to ensuring the deceased’s wishes are carried out as they intended.
Distribution of Assets
The main purpose of a Thai Will is to stipulate how one’s estate and property are to be distributed upon their death. This process is supervised by the courts to ensure that it projects and protects the wishes of the deceased and genuine heirs according to law.
Surviving spouses are considered statutory heirs. They are entitled to a share in the deceased’s estate that is equal to 2/3 of the entire inheritance. The remaining 1/3 is to be shared among heirs in classes 4, 5, 6, which include full blood sisters and brothers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
Foreigners who have property in Thailand can make a Thai Will to determine how their assets will be distributed upon their death. A lawyer with experience in this field can help them write a valid Will that complies with the legal requirements. A well-drafted will can also facilitate a smooth and peaceful transfer of ownership from the testator to their legal heirs.