Thai Will and Succession Lawyers

Our Thai lawyers assist individuals whose family members hold assets in Thailand to draft their Will and secure their inheritance lawfully. This guarantees that their last wishes are respected after death and makes it much easier to settle their estate in Thailand.

A Will made in front of witnesses and legally registered in the Land Department is very difficult to contest.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document stating your wishes regarding the distribution of your property in Thailand after your death. It should specify an executor (person responsible for managing your estate), a list of your assets in Thailand, and their descriptions.

The document can be handwritten or typed and must be signed by the testator (“testant”) in front of two adult capable witnesses. Generally, only a Thai citizen can make a will and must be of at least 15 years old. However, foreign citizens are also able to make a will as long as it is written and witnessed according to the law.

The testator must have all the required documents gathered before the signing of the will such as land title deed, bank statements, personal valuables and other important paperwork. It is also necessary to make sure that the will has been authenticated in accordance with the requirements of Thai law. Our team at Mahanakorn Partners Group can assist with drafting your will and ensure that it complies with Thai law.

Who is a Heir?

When someone dies in Thailand and a will is not present, their estate is divided into shares by the heirs. Heirs are classified into six different classes and include: the surviving spouse; children; brothers and sisters (of full blood); half-brothers and half-sisters; parents; grandparents; and uncles and aunts.

It is highly recommended that you consult with a lawyer who specialises in Thai Inheritance and Succession law, to ensure that your heirs are legally entitled to receive the inheritance you leave them. This is important as poor drafting may lead to disputes that could last indefinitely and result in expensive legal costs.

Our team of Family lawyers can assist you to draft your will and make a legal process (probate) to follow so that your wishes are projected in accordance with Thai Inheritance laws. This is especially important for foreigners who have assets in Thailand such as property and shares registered with the Land Department. We also help foreigners who have relatives in Thailand secure their inheritance and succession rights when they pass away.

What happens if I die without a Will?

If a person dies without a Will (known as dying intestate) their estate is handed over to probate courts who determine beneficiaries and allocate assets according to Thai inheritance law. This process can be complicated and costly especially for a foreign heir.

Under the current legislation a Will can be made in several ways: a holograph will that is completely hand written (not typed), a public document will that must be registered at the Amphur and signed by two witnesses and a secret document will. A well drafted Will from an experienced lawyer will be difficult to contest after death.

It is advisable for all expats with assets in Thailand to make a Will even if they do not live in Thailand permanently. This will help to minimise difficulties for the family in the event of a death. It is also advisable for a non-resident heir to nominate somebody who is living in Thailand as their Executor as this will ensure that the estate is handled properly.

What happens if I die intestate?

In Thailand, a person who dies without a will is said to have died intestate. In such cases, the estate is passed over to probate courts which determine beneficiaries and allocate assets according to Thai law. The law stipulates that a spouse receives the biggest share followed by children, extended family and descendants. If there are no heirs, the estate reverts to the State.

This may seem simple enough, but it is not without complications. For example, many countries have what is known as forced heirship and this can complicate the process of inheritance.

A well-drafted Will allows a testator to choose their Legal Heirs, appoint an Administrator, Guardians for minor children and provide for Donations/Legs. Having this information in place helps minimise any potential issues and delays during the inheritance process. It also protects your loved ones from people trying to take advantage of a situation. In addition, having a Will can help to avoid any disputes that may arise after your death.

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