- Is a US will legally binding in Thailand?
- What makes a will valid in Thailand?
- How is Thai probate administered?
- Is there a way to avoid a probate?
- Is estate or transfer tax levied on properties before distributions?
- What happens to a child if something happens to parents?
- Is it legal to create a Power of Attorney to name an agent to administer matters in the event of incapacity?
- Are Living Wills or Advanced Healthcare Directives utilized in Thailand?
Is a US will legally binding in Thailand?Thailand has a civil law system different from the common law system in the US. In many civil law countries, freedom of disposition of properties by will is an exception from the rule. In civil law countries, they often put restrictions on how to dispose of assets after death. France, Spain, Singapore, and Japan are examples of countries which require an estate to be distributed in certain ways. However, Thailand has a feature of common law allowing the disposition by will, and even disinheritance, if clarified in said will. A foreign will drafted according to the law of the previous country or according to the Thai law will be acceptable in Thai courts. However, the document must be translated into Thai and authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the procedure can take a long time. So, it is advisable to have a Thai will in order to dispose properties in Thailand. A situs will or supplemental will in Thailand, which only applies to properties in Thailand, should be carefully drafted so that a US will is not inadvertently revoked, and so that jurisdiction for all properties is not given to an unintended country. The best way to draft multiple wills in different countries is to develop all of them simultaneously, so that one will doesn’t supersede another. Also, both the US will and situs will can reference each other in order to avoid confusion.
What makes a will valid in Thailand?Any person 15 years or older is permitted to draft a valid will in Thailand, which uses several types of wills.
- Holograph wills are valid if hand-written (not typed or printed out), dated and signed. Witnesses are not required.
- A will made in the presence of witnesses must be signed by the testator and two witnesses. The writer of the will (whether the testator or someone else) must be also specified under Thai law.
- A will drafted at a local Amphur office with a public officer is considered authentic, and is the most difficult will to contest.