Since certain situations are not in our control and death may occur unexpectedly, it is very important to ensure that the assets acquired through the course of your life are allotted to the appropriate persons upon your demise. This can be done by preparing a Last Will and Testament for the assets, properties, bank accounts, etc. that you have in Thailand, and should be made in both English and Thai languages. The Will should be made in English (or another foreign language) so that you clearly understand that content, and in Thai language so that it may be enforced in the courts of Thailand. For properties located outside of Thailand, please refer to the laws in the responsible jurisdictions.
Asset Distribution Without Last Will
In the case of one’s demise without the Thai Last Will, the assets of that late person must be distributed in accordance with the Civil and Commercial Code in the following order:
- Brothers and sisters of full blood
- Brothers and sisters of half blood
- Grandfathers and grandmothers
- Uncles and aunts
Before any of this distribution takes place, however, half of the assets (Sin Somros or marital property) will belong to the spouse (if the individual was married).
Last Will in Thailand
The Last Will and Testament should list all your assets during the time of signing the document, the individual(s) who will be appointed as your legal executor, the beneficiaries and how the assets should be allotted between the beneficiaries, and should bear the signature of two witnesses in front of whom you sign the document.
Upon the death of a foreigner in Thailand, the individual appointed as the legal executor of the Last Will and Testament should take the original Will to the Thai Court to receive a court order for enforcement of the terms in the Will. In the event that a foreigner makes a Last Will abroad for properties located in Thailand, the legal executor may receive a court order for the Will if it is made in the format legally acceptable under Thai law, is translated to Thai language and notarised by relevant government bodies.While covering one’s assets in Thailand through a Will drafted abroad is legally acceptable, it may present further problems for the family of the late person as all documentations need to be translated into Thai and notarised by the government body. You may therefore also draw up a Last Will in Thailand to govern your properties located in the Kingdom.
Umpire Legal can assist you in drafting your Last Will and Testament in both Thai and English languages, so that your legal executor will not have to go through the hassle of having the document translated into Thai language before taking it to court. If the legal executor you appoint is uncertain about how to proceed upon your passing, they are also welcome to contact us for assistance.