A Thai Will and Testament is a written document, dated at the time of making, and signed by the Testator in the presence of at least two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign their names to certify the signature of the Testator. It is not required that such a will be notarized.
A Thai Will may also be made at the local district office. The Testator dictates her/his will orally to the relevant public officer in the presence of at least 2 witnesses. The public officer writes the Will in Thai. Under Thai law, the Testator may also make a holographic Will, that is, a wholly handwritten last Will, which is dated and signed by the Testator.
An intestate heir is anyone who is entitled to an inheritance from the estate of a deceased individual who failed to leave a valid last Will and Testament or to create any other form of estate plan. Thai inheritance laws designate intestate heirs and so long as there is an heir surviving in one of the classes, heirs of lower classes have no entitlement to share in the assets. The only exception is when the deceased is survived by a spouse and children, in which case they all are equally entitled to the estate. If there is more than one heir in any one class, they take an equal share of the entitlement available to that class.
The surviving spouse is a statutory heir but their entitlement depends on what other class of statutory heir exists. If there are surviving children of the deceased, the spouse and children are entitled to equal shares of the estate.
After the deceased individual passes, the government will ask the deceased’s family for a copy of the Will. As a foreign national living in Thailand, having a Thai Will and Testament can relieve some of the burden on family members, as any foreign Will or documents must be translated into Thai, notarized and approved by a government body. Mahanakorn Partners Group can assist in drafting a Thai Will and Testament and ensure that it is made pursuant to the required formalities under Thai Law.