Thai Will and Succession

Although death can be a difficult subject to discuss, drafting a Thai Will is an important step in ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. A will must be written and signed in the presence of witnesses, and should list all local assets, including property and bank accounts.

What is a Will?

In Thailand a Will is a document that details the wishes of an individual with regard to the distribution of their estate after death. The document also typically specifies their chosen executors, heirs and beneficiaries. It is recommended that a Will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it reflects your current circumstances and intentions as well as any changes in the law.

There are several types of Wills permitted under Thai inheritance law. These include an ordinary (simple) will, a holographic will, a public document will and a secret document will. All of these will require two witnesses to sign and attest to the authenticity of the Will.

A foreigner may draft a Will governing the distribution of their assets in Thailand after their death. This includes property, bank accounts and personal belongings such as jewellery and vehicles. Having a Will can prevent complications in releasing the assets to the heirs and quarrels between family members.

Who can draft a Will?

If a person dies without a legal will, their property in Thailand is distributed according to statutory inheritance laws. This is why it’s important to have a legal Will prepared before death.

The document should contain a clear statement of the testator’s intentions and clearly define their beneficiaries. The testator should also appoint an executor and back up executor (both cannot be beneficiaries) as well as two witnesses, who cannot be beneficiaries.

The document should include a detailed inventory of the testator’s local assets in Thailand as well as their overseas assets, along with information on how these are to be distributed. It is also advisable to consult with a lawyer with experience in cross-border estate planning, as different countries have their own inheritance laws and taxes.

What happens if you die without a Will?

In Thailand, a last will must be in writing and witnessed. It must be made according to Section 1646 of the Civil and Commercial Code. A foreign national must also meet special requirements to make a valid Will in Thailand (such as having a legal Thai spouse or holding shares in a Thai company).

The testator should name an executor and specify his or her powers. The executor will be responsible for gathering and managing the deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing property in accordance with the will. A lawyer familiar with Thai inheritance laws can help create a Will that meets the requirements in Thailand. A Will should be reviewed on a regular basis and updated as necessary to reflect changing circumstances. It is recommended to make a new Will whenever there is a significant change in circumstances. Electronic signatures are not accepted under Thai law. However, it is possible to execute a Will with a traditional signature, as long as there are witnesses present.

What happens if you die with a Will?

If you die with a Will, the process of settlement of your estate will be much quicker and easier. It will also ensure that your last wishes are respected.

In case you die without a Will (in Thailand) the law will decide who gets what and this could lead to disputes among your family and friends. A well-drafted Will by an experienced Thai lawyer is the best solution for your succession in Thailand.

There are several forms of Wills in Thailand. The Holograph Will is the most common, it costs nothing and contains a short statement of your wishes. This can be written by yourself or someone else and does not require witnesses. The other option is the Will made in front of a public authority which can be typed and does need witnesses. This is the most difficult to contest. However, the probate procedure is still a long and complicated process. Our lawyers can draft a Will that fully respects your wishes and Thai laws.

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