Will in Thailand

Last updated: 7 Jul 2024
Will in Thailand

What exactly is a will?

"A will is a statement of intent regarding dispositions of [an individual's] property or other items that will take effect in accordance with the law upon [that individual's] death" section 1646.

How important is the will?

Section 1599
“When a person dies, his property passes to his heirs.”
Section 1603
“An estate devolves on the heirs by statutory right or will.
Heirs who are so entitled by law are called “statutory heirs”
Heirs who are so entitled by will are called “legatees.””

Section 1629
"There are only six types of legal heirs...
1. Descendants;
2. Parents;
3. Brothers and sisters related by blood;
4. Brothers and sisters of mixed ancestry;
5. Paternal and maternal grandparents;
6. Aunts and uncles;

Additionally, the surviving spouse is a statutory heir..."

As stated previously, if a person dies without a will, his or her estate would be inherited by the statutory heirs. Moreover, under Thai law, the inheritance is dispersed to the statutory heirs according to numerous classes and degrees of kinship, as illustrated below:

1. If there are descendants of varying degrees, only the children of the dead with the closest degree are eligible to inherit. Only through the right of representation can descendants of lower degree acquire the inheritance.

2. Equal shares are owed to descendants of the same generation;

3. If there is just one descendant in one generation, that descendant is entitled to the entire inheritance.

4. If there is an heir according to Section 1629 (1) who is surviving or has representatives, the surviving spouse is entitled to the same share as an heir in the same degree as children.

5. If there is an heir pursuant to Section 1629 (3) and such heir is surviving or has representatives, or if there is an heir pursuant to Section 1629 (2) in the absence of an heir pursuant to Section 1629 (1), the surviving spouse is entitled to one half of the inheritance.

The statutory right of inheritance applies not only if the decedent did not leave a will, but also if the will was not drafted in conformity with Thai law.

Imagine the difficulties, the potential disputes that may develop among the relatives, the uncertainty, the expenses, the legal expenses, the legal issues, the time wasted, and the many other unanticipated problems that may arise when a person dies without a will and leaves behind significant assets and a large number of relatives.

In light of the aforementioned concerns, a properly designed will is an optimal alternative that should be carefully evaluated.

Is a will made by a foreign attorney valid in Thailand?
As previously noted, if a will is not correctly formed in line with Thai law, it is regarded null and void in Thailand. Moreover, if the assets are domiciled in Thailand, a Thai-law compliant will is even more crucial.

All parts referenced in this article can be found in the Thai Civil and Commercial Code.

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