Although it never pleasant to think of such matters, the importance of preparing a Last Will & Testament in both your country of origin, and in Thailand, is of great importance to ensure that your affairs are in order in the unfortunate advent of your demise. Careful planning of the allocation of your assets will ensure that additional stresses on your relatives can be avoided at this difficult time.
Upon the signing of the contract and the initial payment, your property in Thailand becomes of value, therefore it is crucial to consider this important asset whilst planning your estate.
In the advent of the death of a foreigner in Thailand, a copy of the given person’s will must be presented to the relevant government authorities by the deceased person’s family or lawyer. This process may become troublesome if the will has been drafted in your country of origin, as it will need to be first submitted for translation, notarised and subsequently approved by governmental authorities. Therefore, it is recommended that you complete a separate will for your assets in Thailand. Harwell International Law Office can provide a legal service to draft a Thai will, solely detailing assets in the country such as, property, bank accounts, vehicles and valuable personal items.
DRAFTING A THAI WILL FOR PROPERTIES IN THAILAND OR ABROAD
Although considering the writing of a will can be a distressing thought, it is an important document that will ensure your closest relatives and friends receive adequate support in the advent of your demise. Under Thai law, it is stated in CCC Section 1629 that in the instance of the death of any persons who have not completed a Thai will, the intestate’s possessions must be distributed to relations in the following order of priority:
- Brothers and Sisters of full blood
- Brothers and Sisters of half-blood
- Grandfathers and Grandmothers
- Uncles and Aunts
Before distribution, half of the given estate’s ownership will be transferred to the person’s spouse, whilst the rest will be divided accordingly. In the advent of the intestate having no living relatives or Thai will, the estate will then be entrusted to the State. Therefore, the importance of making a Thai will can be seen. For example, in the instance of your passing without a Thai will, property on land that is possessed on a freehold basis would not be simply passed on to your relatives, but divided into shares. The shares would then be distributed, rather than the property itself. These restraints can be avoided upon the completion of your Thai will.
LEASEHOLD AND YOUR THAI WILL
It is important to note that if you hold property in a leasehold format, upon the death of the lessee, the agreement will naturally terminate. If you hold a long term lease and have already made payment for the rental of the land or properties in advance, then it is important to ensure a succession clause is made in the lease contract. This will ensure that the right of lease can be transferred to your heir. However, it is still important to include your intentions to pass on the rights of the lease in your Thai Will.
It is paramount that you are made fully aware of your legal rights in Thailand in order to ensure that important duties such as property matters can be carried out both smoothly and swiftly and without hinderance or unnecessary financial burden. The importance of a Thai Will can again be shown to minimize the aforementioned risks associated with the acquisition of property in foreign countries and ensure that your investments are secure and hold minimal risk.
Harwell International Law Office’s legal team are fully qualified to give a professional advice and guidance in all matters concerning the completion of your will and the allocation of your property and other assets in the event of your passing. We have a dedicated team of Thai and foreign lawyers and solicitors to handle your affairs in the most professional and sensitive manner. Contact us now by telephone or email or visit our office in person to discuss all matters regarding the drafting of your Thai Will.