Should I Write a Will?
I am a foreigner who had been running my own business in Thailand. I have several health problems therefore, I am thinking about who should succeed my assets if I pass away. Should I write a Will in Thailand? How can I go about doing this?
Unless you want your assets to be succeeded by heirs down your bloodline, you should write and execute a Will. If you died without executing a Will, then your heir(s) will succeed your assets. As according to your bloodline, the hierarchy of heirs for succeeding your assets under Thai law are:
(i) Decedents or your children
(iii) Brothers and sisters of full blood
(iv) Brothers and sisters of half blood
(v) Grandfathers and grandmothers
(vi) Uncles and aunts
Executing a Will will enable your assets to devolve on the people you want. The easiest and the most convenient way for executing a legally valid Will in Thailand would be to draft out the Will in writing and you sign the Will before two witnesses who are present at the same time. The two witnesses shall then sign their names to certify your signature. These witnesses should also attach signed certified true copies of their passport (non Thai) or ID Card to the Will. The contents of the Will should contain at least the following:
(a) Date of making the Will;
(b) Your name, residing address, nationality and passport number (non-Thai) or Thai ID Card number;
(c) List of your asset(s) in Thailand only, their locations, its identifying details e.g. Title Deed number, company's name and its share number etc.;
(d) The persons whom the respective assets will devolve upon; and
(e) Appoint an administrator of your estate i.e. the person who will open up your Will after you passed away and manage the distribution of your assets as according to your intentions expressed in the Will. State the name, passport number (non-Thai) or Thai ID Card number, nationality and residing address of the administrator.
You should have a first choice and a second choice administrator, just in case the first choice administrator cannot fulfill his/her duties, the second choice administrator will assume the duties.
The administrator of your estate, as appointed by the Will, have the power and duty to arrange for your funeral, unless another person has been specifically appointed by you for this purpose.
Written by David Tan. David is a Lecturer of Business Law at Asian University and author of the book - A Primer of Thai Business Law (Second Edition), available online at www.chulabook.com . In Bangkok, the book is available at all Kinokuniya and Asiabooks bookstores. Any questions to David regarding lease of real estates, business and labour should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. A selected question and its answer will be published in the next issue.
David Tan Articles:
Does 90-year Lease Exist? - David Tan is a Lecturer of Business Law at Asian University. He has kindly provided us with a series of legal articles looking at property and employment law in Thailand. We start by clearing up the 90-year lease issue.
Foreign Ownership of Land? - David Tan continues his series of legal rights articles with an enlightening look at the thorny issue of foreigners owning land in Thailand.
Buying a Condo in Thailand - How to proceed with due diligence when buying a condo in Thailand.
Escrow Agents in Thailand - How to use escrow agents in Thailand when purchasing a property.
Property Purchase Deposits - If you pay a deposit or reservation fee to a property developer, does that mean you have a sale contract?
Lifetime Land Lease? - Is it possible for a foreigner to lease a plot of land for their own lifetime?
Employee Failing Probation - David Tan's series of legal articles move on to employment law. He starts with a look at the requirements for terminating employees who are on a probationary period.
Fixed Employment Contracts - Fixed period employment contracts are a technique employers can use to avoid having to pay severance and provide prior notice of employment termination to employees.
Sacking an Employee - What are the legal implications for an employer to sack an employee in Thailand?
Selecting Outsource Company - If you outsource in Thailand, what rights do the outsource company's employees have from your company?
Contract Protection for Buyers of Condos - How can you be sure your new condo will turn out like the pictures in the glossy brochure?