Last Will and Testament
Consider a Last Will and Testament while in Thailand. A Thai Last Will and Testament will detail all your assets and properties, including bank accounts, vehicles and other personal items. Nowadays, it is very common upon the death of a foreigner in Thailand, that the family will be asked for a copy of the Last Will by the government officer.
However, having a will drafted from your home country might bring complications to your family, as the documents still need to be translated into Thai, notarised by a public notary approved by a government body in Thailand. It is highly recommended that you have a separate will drafted for your assets in Thailand. If you are married in Thailand then this is always very important.
Last Will and Testament
For foreigners who are tightly connected with Thailand, or have been married to a Thai national and living in Thailand, can make a Thai Last Will and Testament under Thai law for all their assets and assign the Thai law to supervise the succession of their estate in Thailand.
If you decide to make a Thai will, you must make sure that your Foreign will, if any, excludes any of your assets in Thailand, and that any succeeding last will that you make in another country does not overpower the dispositions under your Thai will.
It is advised that you include a limited jurisdiction clause to limit the effect of the will specifically to the assets located only in Thailand. For foreigners who do not have tight connections with Thailand, aside for those who own condominium units or real estate, the Thai Last Will and Testament is not mandatory. If you want to make your Will specific or general but has no idea what to include, here is a list of the kind of information that you will need to consider in writing a Thai Last Will and Testament:
- Personal information of the testator: Full name, date of birth, address, nationality and passport number;
- Details of the heirs: Full names, dates of births, addresses, nationalities, substitutes in case the heir or heirs die before the testator;
- Executor of the Will, referring to the person whose job is to administer your estate;
- Names and addresses of executors, in most cases for married people, the testator chooses their spouse as the executor if they decide to give their estate to their spouse. The testator, through court, can appoint one executor and a substitute in case the executor dies before the testator;
- Witnesses of the Will;
- Full name and details of identification card s or passports of the witnesses;
- Possible funeral arrangements or requirements, as to what happens to your body when you die;
- For specific legacies, as to who you will give your money or property which is not included in the general Will; if you wish to give any jewellery cash legacies, stating the amount of gift, full name and address of legatees;
The Last Will and Testament planning is not a pleasant thing to ponder, none of us, of course, would wish and hope to be dead at any moment. However, it is very important to have good estate planning to make sure that your loved ones are well taken care of if ever you pass away. We never know what will happen in the future and giving security to our love ones would make things smother when time comes.
In the absence of the Thai Last Will and Testament, the assets will be divided accordingly among your relatives as mandated in the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand Section 1629:
- · Descendants;
- · Parents;
- · Brothers and sisters (full blood);
- · Brothers and sisters (half-blood);
- · Grandfathers and grandmothers;
- · Uncles and aunts;
Before distributing your estate to the relatives, half of your estate will go to the spouse, if any. All the rest will be distributed equally and accordingly. In the absence of a living relative or a Thai Will, the entire estate will be dissolved by the State. This is one reason why it is highly recommended to execute a Thai Will for all your properties in Thailand.
There are many reasons why you should consider a Will if you are living in Thailand. With the increasing number of people retiring and getting married in Thailand, the more important the Last Will and Testament becomes. But again, if you own real estate in Thailand and another in your home country, then you should consider making two separate Wills for your properties in Thailand and abroad. This way, it would be easier to execute your Will specifically. You may also opt to include all and state in detail everything that you wish to be included either assets abroad or in Thailand.
If you have the resources to hire the service of a lawyer with enough knowledge regarding the planning and drafting of legal documents, you will have full assurance that there will be no issues regarding the translation of your Last Will. Your legal counsel will be the one to remind you about everything that you need to include in the turning over of your succession.
One of the advantages is that you will have another person keep the original Will in a safe place, while you can have a copy and have another copy given to the person you trust. Every detail of your Will shall be confidential until your demise. Speak about this topic to a family lawyer in Thailand. Consider all your option especially if you have children in Thailand or are married in Thailand. Also consider a living will in Thailand.