Having assets in Phuket, Thailand involves thinking about devolution when death comes. Above all, a Last will and testament made in Phuket concerning your assets in Thailand. Will facilitate the devolution to your heirs. This article gives an explanation of the main key points when making a Last Wills and Testament under Thai laws.
In order to make a last will and testament. The Book VI of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (C.C.C.) is applied. It is subject to the condition of validity, too. You may read the introduction about Inheritance right to understand about 3 Different kinds of Thai last wills. They are not only interesting for foreigners but also provide you with the answer to these questions. What happens If you do not have a Thai last will on your property if you die? What about the surviving spouse?
To complete our previous article, “to avoid the void of your Last will and Testament”. We are going to clarify step by step how to make a Last will and testament in PHUKET.
Step 1: Make Sure You’re Allowed to Make a Last Will under Thai Law
Thai law allows a person who is 15 years old to make a last will without his/her legal guardian (CCC 25). Another key thing to remember, the legal guardian can not make a last will and testament on behalf of the minor. In Thai law a minor means a person who is under 20 years old.
Step 2: Make Sure you using a Good Forms of Last Will
Forms of Last will and Testament are existing in 6 forms (kinds) under Thai law. In this article we focus on the ‘Valid witness wills’ (CCC 1656). That is not the best way to solve the issue due to language problem, personal needs of foreigners. But also preventing dispute or interpretation of the will and possible argument of a False last will and Testament in the future.
Step 3 Make sure you have full details information and documentation for your last will
Information/documents (the last update one you have) below are required for last will and testament;
1. Details of your Passport/ID Card,
2. Details of your property/assets,
Note that Full ownership or your part of co-ownership can be included but not all amount of money that will be paid due to your death as insurance life, professional compensation.
3. Details of your Heirs (full names, addresses, date of birth, nationality)
4. Details of the witnesses of the will (Passport/ID card, current address), if there is. However, our office prepares the witnesses and Notary for your will.
5. Details of the Nomination of an administrator(s).
As under Thai law there must be an administrator (CCC 1711ff.) for your estate. The administrator is who will take care of the distribution of your estate. So you should nominate a person in whom you have total confidence (Passport/ID card, current address). (Under CCC 1718 and Supreme Court Judgment No. 6166/2552). The administrator can be a major, no a bankruptcy person and no a person having unsound mind or adjudged quasi-incompetent.
Step 4: Make Sure you Complete What you Really Wish in Your Last Will
1. How to share your inheritance
Firstly, how to share your inheritance between the heirs chosen. Secondly, what happens if one of the heirs die before you or at the same time with you. Finally, if nothing is precise the part of this deceased heir will automatically go to your heir under law (CCC 1629).
2. Administrator(s) and Compensation, the administrator(s)
This can be one of the heirs or a third party. It can be gratified with/without compensation. If the administrator refuses his mission, one of the heirs or a person who is interested in the inheritance can be authorized to act as administrator. Importantly, a trustee is not allowed in Thailand, so the person that you “trust” shall only arrange the transfer of your assets to your heirs and arrange your funeral.
3. Funeral requirements (where/how)
Buddhist ceremony and the scatter ashes over the Andaman Sea is one of often chosen options.
NOTE that all assets inherited goes with rights but also the liabilities, and the duties. So your heirs have a responsibility to your creditor(s) but for an amount not more than the inheritance received. Also Inheritance tax matter should be considered.
Step 5: Make Sure The Signature Procedure is legal
You must sign when you have Free and Full in mind/ and must sign in front of 2 witnesses.
The witness shall be a major, not a person having unsound mind or adjudged quasi-incompetent. Importantly, not a heirs of the will included the legal spouse if she is inheritors by this last will and Testament.
Keep your last will, and amend your last will as you wish. But this codicil shall follow the same forms and procedure of your last will and testament.
When you clearly complete all these steps. The last one is to book an appointment with our Notary Public, and one hour after the date. You may feel relieved that this heavy weight was dealt with. If you are looking for a law firm or a lawyer in Phuket to assist you in this matter, feel free to contact us.
Frederic Retif Master in Business Law
and Akenarin Thongplod Thai Barrister at Law