Making a will in Thailand.
Should a foreign national expectedly or unexpectedly decease in Thailand, their Last Will (a document outlining the final wishes regarding their possessions after their death) crafted only in their home country may cause the remaining family members a number of complications down the road, such as translating, notarising and approving all related documents to name a few. Instead, it is a good practice to have the Last Will prepared in both countries – the foreigner’s country of origin and Thailand.
Fortunately for expatriates residing in Thailand, the local law allows foreigners to protect their properties and assets by making a Thai Last Will (as stated in The Civil and Commercial Code). The Will can also include a limited jurisdiction clause, limiting the effect of the Will specifically to assets located in Thailand. If you make a Thai Will, you must ensure that your foreign Will excludes the properties and assets located in Thailand (as mentioned in your Thai will) and that any subsequent Last Will you make in another country does not supersede the testamentary dispositions under your Thai Will.
As a general rule, a Will in Thailand can be made of one of the following types:
- Regular last will and testament
- Manuscript last will and testament
- Registered last will and testament
- Secret last will and testament
- Verbal last will and testament
It is recommended to keep a list of assets and liabilities in Thailand with a copy of your will. Such list could include details of your house, its contents, car, jewellery, cash at the bank, quoted stocks, shares, and other assets or liabilities in Thailand.
When making a valid Last Will/Testament in Thailand, it is equally important to observe the legal requirements. There are some important rules that can invalidate the Will even if it seemingly meets all requirements. An example of such action is having the heir as a witness.
Your witness cannot, moreover, be an individual person who:
- Hasn’t reached their legal age
- Is deaf, mute or blind
- Has a mental illness