How to Make a Thai Will
Foreigners living in Thailand and those owning immovable property in Thailand usually need a Thai will. It is a good idea to work with an international law firm, such as Siam Legal, to ensure that your estate plan complies with Thai law.
Thai law provides that if you are competent to draft a will in the country of your nationality, you may do so according to the law of the country of your nationality or the country where your will is made. Thus, if you are a US citizen living in Thailand you can make a will according to Thai law or US law.
Thai law also provides that the succession to your immovable property in Thailand is governed by Thai law, so if you own a condominium or land rights in your own name, it will pass via Thai succession laws unless you have a Thai will. If you own real property in Thailand through a corporation or long term lease the issue of succession is more complicated and you should consult a lawyer.
Succession to movable property is governed by your domicile at the time of death. Thus, if you are an expatriate domiciled in Thailand, you will need a Thai will for your movable property also. Thai succession laws provide that if you have no living relatives at the time of your death, your property will pass to the Thai government.
You may choose to make a Thai will of limited jurisdiction that only governs the rights to your property in Thailand and have another will in your home country governing the distribution of any other goods. Typically upon the death of a foreigner in Thailand, a government official will ask the family for a copy of the will. Having a will drafted in your home country to cover assets in Thailand may be problematic and burdensome to your family as documents will need to be translated, notarized and approved by a government body.
Once you are ready to make your Thai will, you should collect all the information about your property and how you would like to distribute it after your death. If you have a will in another country you should also have that information handy when you make your Thai will. Finally, you should contact the person who you would like to be the executor of your estate in Thailand. This person should ideally live in Thailand and be able and willing to deal with administrative burdens after your death.
You should also consider any arrangements you would like to make for your medical care in the event that you are incapacitated or in a vegetative state and for your funeral.
We recommend that you bring all this information to a reputable law firm with Thai and foreign attorneys so that you can customize your will for your own situation. For example, if you are married to a Thai national, Thai law may have an impact on how you can dispose of your assets.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.