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On Succession and Wills: The Thai CCC

At the end of the day it’s all about family – is it not? Speaking of family, let’s get into the legal perspective of this institution- the Family law. Revolving around succession and successors, the Family court deals with inheritance cases every day. It is known that a deceased person may write up a Will before their passing. But in the case, they do not, where do their possessions go to, and what all is considered to be a succession?

According to the Thai succession law under the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) Section 1600, all properties, moveable and immovable including rights and duties/ responsibilities are passed on to the successor upon the death of the deceased family member, unless specific terms and conditions are provided by the deceased through a Last Will and Testament. This means before the inheritance is distributed to the successor, any pending debts to and from the deceased need to be managed. The rightful successor shall then inherit the remaining.

Next comes the question of who the rightful successor is and how the hierarchy works.

Under Section 1629 of the same Code, the law states that the hierarchy of successors is divided into 6 stages as follows:

  1. Descendant
  2. Parent
  3. Siblings from the same parents
  4. Sibling from either parent
  5. Grandparents
  6. Aunts and Uncles

In case of more than one of these liable persons under the same category, the possession shall be equally divided into the same parts of the existing number of successors and distributed equally amongst them.

In the case of the absence of one, the next eligible successor is the one that falls under the next level of hierarchy.

In the case of an existing spouse of the deceased, half the property will be inherited by the spouse and the remaining half to be distributed as per mentioned above.

In case of the absence of any living relatives, the next successor is the nation, unless the deceased was ordained, the inheritance shall be passed on to the temple of the sanctuary.

If you, however, prefer to draft up a Last Will and Testament, we can most definitely assist you in putting your plan in place.