Last Will and Testament and Inheritance Rights
If I don’t have a Thailand will, who will inherit my belongings if I die?
When a person dies without a will in Thailand, the whole of his estate shall be distributed among his heirs according to the law. Thai inheritance law states there are six classes of heir and each one is entitled to inherit in order: direct descendants; parents; brothers and sisters of full blood; half-brothers and half-sisters; grandparents; and uncles and aunts. The surviving spouse is also a heir under certain circumstances.
What is AAA Legal’s estate planning service and how does it apply in Thailand?
Estate planning is a process whereby an attorney and client determine the best way to structure a legal plan for a client’s assets and their disposition in the event of the client’s death. This process usually involves drafting a last will and testament that complies with relevant laws and serves the client’s objectives, which could involve: the establishment of other legal structures, such as trusts, joint tenancies, transfer and leasebacks. Planning usually focuses on the most efficient way to transfer assets to the descendant’s family and to legally minimize tax obligations. For persons that reside or have assets in Thailand, estate planning requires specialized expertise because it is the Thai courts that will decide the ownership of estate assets. Accordingly, substantive knowledge of Thai law and court procedures, combined with practical knowledge, are very important.
Wills in Thailand need to meet very exact requirements to be considered valid. There are three broad classifications for valid wills, Thai inheritance law specifies three broad categories of valid wills:
- Wills made before public officials
- Holographic wills
- Validly witnessed wills
AAA Legal’s team of experts will guide you through the complex process and ensure your belongings are inherited exactly as you require.
Reference: How property is inherited when person’s die in Thailand
DEVOLUTION OF AN ESTATE
Section 1599.- When a person dies, his estate devolves on the heirs.
An heir may lose his right to the succession only under the provisions of this
Code or other laws.
Section 1601.- An heir shall not be liable in excess of the property devolving
Section 1603.- An estate devolves on the heirs by statutory right or by will.
Heirs, who are so entitled by law, are called “ statutory heirs.”
Heirs, who are so entitled by will, are called “ legatees.”
Section 1620.- Where a person dies without having made a will, or if having
made a will, his will has no effect, the whole of his estate shall be distributed among
his statutory heirs according to law.
Where a person dies having made a will which disposes of or has effect for a part
only of his estate, the part which has not been disposed of or is not affected by the
will shall be distributed among his statutory heirs according to law.
DIVISION INTO PORTION BETWEEN THE SEVERAL CLASSES AND
DEGREES OF STATUTORY HEIRS
Section 1629.- There are only six classes of statutory heirs; and subject to the
provision of Section 1630 paragraph 2, each class is entitled to inherit in the following
( 1 ) Descendants ;
( 2) Parents ;
( 3 ) Brothers and sister of full blood ;
( 4 ) Brothers and sister of half blood ;
( 5 ) Grandfathers and grandmothers ;
( 6 ) Uncles and aunts.
The surviving spouse is also a statutory heir, subject to the special provision of
Section 1646.- Any person may, in contemplation of death, make a declaration
of intention by will concerning dispositions as to his property or other matters which
shall take effect according to law after his death.
Section 1647.- The declaration of intention in contemplation of death shall be
the latest one in imperative term provided by will.
Section 1648.- A will must be made according to the forms prescribed in
Chapter ii of this Title.
Section 1649.- The administrator of an estate appointed by the deceased shall
have power and duty to arrange for the funeral of the deceased unless another person
has been specially appointed by the deceased for that purpose.
If there is no administrator, or no person appointed by the deceased to arrange
for the funeral, the person, who has received the greatest amount of property by will
or by statutory right, shall have the power and duty to arrange for the funeral unless
the Court, on application of any interested person, thinks fit to appoint another person
for that purpose.
FORMS OF WILLS
Section 1656.- A will may be made in the following form, that is to say, it must
be made in writing, dated at the time of the making of the and signed by the testator
before at least two witnesses present at the same who shall then and there sign their
names certifying the signature of the testator.
No erasure, addition or other alteration in such will is valid unless made in the
same form as prescribed by this section.
Section 1657.- A will may be made by an holograph document, that is to say
the testator must write with his own hand the whole text of the document, the date and
Section 1658.- A will may be made by a public document, that is to say :
( 1 ) The testator must declare to the Kromkarn Amphoe before at least two
other persons as witnesses present at the same time what disposition he wishes to be
included in his will ;
( 2 ) The Kromkarn Amphoe must note down such declaration of the testator
and read it to the latter and to the witnesses ;
( 3 ) The testator and the witnesses must sign their names after having
ascertained that the statement noted down by the Kromkarn Amphoe corresponds
with the declaration made by the testator ;
( 4) The statement noted down by the Kromkarn Amphoe shall be dated and
signed by such official who shall certify under his hand and seal that the will has been
made in compliance with the foregoing Subsection ( 1 ) to ( 3 )
No erasure, addition or other alteration in such will is valid, unless signed by the
testator, the witnesses and the Kromkarn Amphoe.