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Last Will and Testament in Thailand

By: Magna Carta Law Office
ESTATE PLANNING AND LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

Estate planning is a process of anticipating and arranging the disposal of an estate and managing an individual's asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death. As part of an estate planning, drafting a Last Will and Testament is recommended.


A Last Will and Testament is a declaration of intention by will, concerning dispositions as to your assets or other matters which shall take effect according to law after your demise. The document will detail your assets in Thailand, such as property, bank accounts, vehicle, and personal valuable items, designating who shall inherit and control them according to your wish to prevent unnecessary complications and quarrels between family members.


In Thailand, when a person dies without a Last Will and Testament, the intestate’s assets must be distributed in accordance with the law. As stipulated in The Civil and Commercial Code Section 1629, there are six classes of statutory heirs in Thailand. Each class is entitled to inherit in the following order:


  1. descendants

  2. parents

  3. brothers and sisters of full blood

  4. brothers and sisters of half blood

  5. grandfathers and grandmothers

  6. uncles and aunts

The right of a surviving spouse to share in the estate of a deceased spouse arises automatically from marital status. Spouses who are under separation do not lose the right of inheritance as long as divorce between them has not been granted according to law. Ordinances awarding such rights on a surviving spouse make the spouse a statutory heir. Before any distribution of the estate to the relatives, half of the estate will belong to the spouse, if any, and the rest will be distributed accordingly.


Your Last Will and Testament shall cover five important points:
Appointing an Executor

The executor will administer your estate and make sure everything is done according to the terms executorof your will. Appointing a trusted executor is an important decision that needs thorough consideration. The responsibilities of an executor include making sure all assets are accounted for, all existing debts and tax obligations are paid, and remaining assets are distributed to the correct beneficiaries in accordance to your will. Conflict of interest can be avoided by selecting an executor who is not a beneficiary or a business partner but it is important it is someone you can trust. If you can’t consider anybody with the necessary expertise, consider hiring a lawyer, accountant or similar type of professional to act as your executor.


Naming all the beneficiaries of your assets

This shall declare the details of everyone who you want to benefit. Full names, up-to-date addresses and any identification must be specified in your will. They can be anyone such as family members, friends and even charities.


Procedure on how the inheritances shall be transferred to your beneficiaries

Assets shall be transferred to the respective beneficiaries according to your will. In case of a minor beneficiary, the assets shall be administered by an able parent until the minor reaches certain legal age in accordance with the law. A provision must also be stated as to how the inheritances shall be transferred should a beneficiary pre-decease or die with the testator.


How funeral must be arranged

Testators can state how the funeral and burial must be arranged. They can also specify if they wish to donate their body to a scientific institute for research purposes.


FORMS OF A WILL

A testator must be competent and at least 15 years of age. A will may be made in any of the following forms:


  • It must be in writing, dated at the time of making the will and signed by the testator before at least two witnesses present who shall sign their names certifying the signature of the testator;

  • By Holograph Document. The testator must write with his own hand the entire text of the document, the date and his signature.

  • By Public Document. The testator must declare to a District Officer before at least two witnesses what dispositions he wishes to include in his will. The District Officer must note down such declarations and read it to both the testator and witnesses, all affixing their signatures after having ascertained that the statement written down corresponds with the declaration of the testator.

  • Secret Document. The testator must sign his name on the document, close the document and sign across the place of closure. This document must be presented to a District Official with at least two witnesses and declare to them that it contains his testamentary dispositions.

It is very important to observe the correct legal formalities when signing, amending, or revoking your Will. If you fail to follow all of the specific formalities, then your Last Will won't be legally valid.


Magna Carta Law Office is offering this service of drafting your Last Will and Testament in Thai and English languages for 10,000 Baht.


 

Call 038 373735 to 6 / 0824791204 or send email to legal@magnacarta.co.th to set an appointment or visit Magna Carta Law Office from Monday to Friday at 8:30 am to 6:00 pm for a Free No Obligation Initial Consultation.