Last Will and Testament in Thailand

Do You Need to Make a Will in Thailand?

If you have property in Thailand: real estate, money in banks, shares or company stakes, vehicles, and other significant assets, it is wise to make a will in Thailand.

This will significantly facilitate the inheritance process, including compared to if a will regarding property in Thailand is made abroad.

Inheritance by Law in Thailand

If there is no will, the order of inheritance is determined by law.

Legal heirs are divided into classes:

  1. Descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.);
  2. Parents;
  3. Full-blood siblings;
  4. Half-blood siblings;
  5. Grandparents;
  6. Aunts and uncles.

These classes are specified in Section 1629 of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand (CCC).

As a general rule, the existence of even one relative of the previous class eliminates the inheritance rights of relatives of all subsequent classes. This rule does not apply in the case of surviving parents, who inherit equally with the testator’s children. Within the descendants’ class, children eliminate more distant descendants from inheriting. These may inherit by right of representation.

The surviving spouse is also a legal heir, not included in any class. Their rights are regulated by Section 1635 of the CCC and depend on the presence of other heirs.

Mandatory Share in Inheritance in Thailand

Thailand does not have a mandatory share in inheritance. Any heir can be completely disinherited.

Form of the Will in Thailand

Depending on the circumstances of its preparation and execution, a will can take various forms as provided by the CCC.

Foreigners typically choose a will written in a simple written form, dated on the day of drafting, and signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses who attest to the testator’s signature (Section 1656 CCC). Such a will does not necessarily have to be in Thai.

What to Include in a Will in Thailand

  • Date, place of making the will
  • Personal information of the testator
  • Information about the heirs
  • Executors of the will (estate administrators)
  • Information about the witnesses
  • The testator’s instructions
  • Details about the property
  • Appointment of guardians (if applicable)
  • A clause stating that the will concerns only property in Thailand (if applicable)

Inheriting in Thailand

To inherit in Thailand, it is necessary to apply to a Thai court, regardless of the existence of a will. Necessary documents usually include:

  • Deceased’s passport
  • Death certificate
  • Will (if available)
  • Heirs’ passports
  • Executor’s passport
  • Marriage certificate (if the deceased was married)
  • Children’s birth certificates (if applicable)
  • List of property and copies of registration certificates
  • Heirs’ consent to the appointment of an executor (administrator)
  • Description of family relations (family (genealogical) tree).

If there is no will, documents proving kinship with the deceased are required. The court examines the case after the submission of documents, and in disputed cases, the heirs may need to be personally present at the hearing.

Documents made abroad must be properly legalized.

If no executor is specified in the will, or if there is no will, the court appoints an administrator. This person is responsible for managing the estate, paying off debts, and distributing property in accordance with the will or as established by law. The administrator must prepare an inventory of the estate and assess its value, which is important for understanding the extent of the estate and for tax purposes.

Before distributing the property, all debts and taxes, including inheritance tax if applicable, must be paid. After paying off debts and taxes, the remaining property is distributed among the heirs. If there is a will, the property is distributed according to its terms. If there is no will, the property is distributed among the heirs by law in accordance with the CCC.

After 30 days from the hearing where the administrator was appointed, the court will issue a decision on the transfer of property, which is the basis for the transfer of ownership of the property to the heirs.

Inheritance Tax in Thailand

Heirs pay inheritance tax if the total value of taxable inherited property (real estate, vehicles, securities, bank deposits, etc.) exceeds 100 million baht, on the amount of such excess.

The tax rate is 5% for relatives along the ascending and descending lines and 10% in other cases. No tax is levied on surviving spouses.

If you have any questions related to inheritance or wills in Thailand, please email me, or use the form below.

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