If you are living long term in Thailand and have assets which you wish to leave to your family upon your death you need to write a will specifically for your Thai assets, your English will is not enough.
If you have a Thai wife or husband and you are legally married you may think that your assets will pass automatically to her. This is not necessarily the case, particularly if you have children from a previous relationship things can get very messy.
There are six classes of heirs in Thailand, they are listed below in order:
- Siblings of full blood
- Siblings of half blood
- Uncles and aunts
- The surviving spouse (the statutory heir and subject to the special provisions of Section 1635 Civil and Commercial Code)
Writing a will in Thailand is a simple procedure, Key Visa can help you write a last will and testament in both English and Thai languages which is fully compliant with Thai law.
Even if you have a will in Thailand, there is still a procedure to be followed for probate which involves going to court with a Thai lawyer to obtain a grant of probate. This process can take up to 3 months with a will but without a will it will take at least 18 months and if your beneficiaries are living abroad they may need to travel to Thailand to prove that they are the rightful heirs.
Dying in Thailand without a proper will can put your family under a lot of unnecessary strain and may even result in your assets not being assigned to the people you would like to have them.
What happens if you die in Thailand without a will:
If you happen to die in Thailand without a will, then your rightful heirs will need to provide proof that they are legally entitled to inherit your estate. If you have children in Thailand only, then your partner or spouse can make a claim for them to inherit your estate by proving that you are their father with their birth certificate. Even this is not guaranteed as there is no will in place, discretion is left in the hands of the judge.
If you have children living abroad from a previous relationship, they would again need to provide proof that they are your rightful heirs by showing their birth certificate and possibly even the divorce or death certificate of any previous partners. When there is more than one possible heir the situation can become very complicated.
All of this can be avoided just by paying a quick visit to the Key Visa office opposite Big C South Pattaya and arranging to make a last will and testament for your Thai assets.