Thai Will and Succession

As you probably know, in Thailand the property of a deceased person devolves on his/her heirs. A properly drafted Last Will is the best way to guarantee that your wishes are respected and to avoid family disputes after your death.

A well drafted Will can save your family a lot of time and stress. The settlement of your succession will largely depend on it.

Legal Requirements

When you pass away in Thailand there are many processes and details to manage before a statutory heir can receive their inheritance. This is especially true if your assets are held in a Thai company in foreign names.

A Will can ensure that your property passes on to the people you want to receive it after your death. It also helps avoid any unnecessary legal fees or court costs.

A Will must be written by you in the presence of two competent witnesses (not your friends) and it can either be handwritten or typed. It must be dated, include clear instructions and express your wishes as to the distribution of your estate after your death. It is not expensive to draft a Will in Thailand and it can save your family or loved ones a lot of time, stress and money later on. It also ensures that your property is transferred to a statutory heir in accordance with Thai Inheritance Law.


When you die without a Will or any binding declaration of succession (known as dying intestate), the assets in your estate are distributed according to Thai law. The heirs will be determined based on a set sequence – beginning with your next of kin. This process is called intestacy and, in the absence of a Will, will not take into account your personal wishes or needs, such as special provisions for loved ones with disabilities. In addition, the laws may not provide for children born after the deceased and may not address illegitimate family members. It can also be complicated if the deceased was married or had children with different partners.

Distribution of Assets

When a foreign national dies in Thailand with or without a Will, the estate must be administered. This requires a petition to be filed with the court having the territorial jurisdiction where the decedent was domiciled at the time of his/her death. The petition must include a death certificate, a list of relatives, birth certificates of the legit heirs and a list of assets.

If the deceased had a will, it should be submitted to the executor named in the document along with any supporting documents that are relevant to the estate. The executor will then notify the beneficiaries of the estate of their right to receive a share of the estate.

In the case of property designated as marital property, a spouse has the right to half of the estate. The rest of the estate is divided amongst other statutory heirs. This is where having a Will becomes very important. A Will allows a person to choose his/her Legal Heirs and also to appoint Guardians in the case of minor children. In addition, a Will can be used to make gifts or legacies.


A person who dies in Thailand will normally need a Thai probate lawyer to wind up the estate and ensure that all institutions, banks, government agencies, etc. are notified of the death. The executor will also be responsible for collecting and managing the deceased person’s assets and property, paying any debts and taxes and distributing the remaining assets and property according to instructions in the will.

For a foreign person, the best way to avoid probate is by establishing ownership through joint ownership with a Thai citizen or by transferring the property into a usufruct. However, even this can involve legal requirements and court costs.

An estate administrator must be appointed by the court or mentioned in the will to protect, distribute and handle the estate assets before the heirs can inherit. Then, the administrator must keep the heirs updated on the progress of the estate process. The law stipulates six classes of heirs: descendants; parents; brothers and sisters of full blood; brothers and sisters of half blood; grandparents; uncles and aunts.


Property Due Diligence in Thailand

Any real estate transaction, including those in Thailand, must include the step of doing property due diligence. Due diligence entails a thorough examination of all facets of a property, including its ownership, legal status, and any potential liabilities or problems.

When performing due diligence on real estate in Thailand, keep the following in mind:

  1. Check the Title Deed: Confirm that the seller is in possession of a legitimate title deed to the property. A crucial legal document that establishes ownership of the property is the title deed. There are various kinds of title deeds in Thailand, so be careful to speak with a lawyer to determine which one is best for your transaction.
  2. Verify that the property is unencumbered by any liens, mortgages, or other claims on it by checking for encumbrances. This can be achieved by looking over the title deed and running a search at the neighborhood land office.
  3. Verify that the property is zoned for the intended purpose and that there are no land use restrictions that would prevent the intended use by reviewing the zoning and land use regulations.
  4. Verify that the property has all relevant permissions and approvals for any existing structures or planned development by looking at the building regulations and permits. This covers environmental permits, building permits, and other pertinent approvals.
  5. Perform a site inspection: go to the property and physically inspect it to confirm its state and the condition of any existing structures. This entails looking for any flaws or damage and spotting any potential dangers.
  6. Review all pertinent legal documents and contracts, including any purchase agreements, leases, or other agreements relating to the property, with the help of an attorney.
  7. Consult with professionals: To confirm any technical features of the property, such as structural integrity or environmental concerns, consult with professionals, such as engineers or architects.

To ensure that all pertinent parts of the property are carefully examined, it is advised to consult with a lawyer or other real estate professionals because conducting property due diligence in Thailand can be a complicated process.


Process of Property Title Transfer in Thailand

When you are looking to purchase a home, condo, villa or apartment in Thailand, it is important that you know the process of property title transfer. This will help you avoid any potential legal pitfalls.

The first step in the process is to find a real estate lawyer who will be able to provide you with reputable advice and protect your interests during the buying process. Having a lawyer with you in the purchase of your Thai property will give you peace of mind and ensure that you are protected from any unexpected issues and possible legal risks.

A lawyer can assist you with all the aspects of a property purchase including; reviewing and approving your contract, ensuring that the property is not subject to any government regulations or restrictions and making sure that you are aware of all the requirements prior to purchasing your Thai property. Having a Thailand lawyer by your side will also make the buying process much smoother and easier for you, which is why you should always seek out this professional assistance before committing to a purchase of any sort.

Once the property has been bought, you will then need to prepare a few documents to transfer the ownership of the property into your name. The most common of these is a Land Title Deed, but there are other types of title deeds that you can choose from.

You will also need to have a valid foreign exchange transaction certificate and a Foreigners’ Land Rights Certificate issued by the local land office before the property can be transferred to your name. These documents are required for any purchase of a condominium in Thailand.

After obtaining all of the necessary documents, you will then need to take them to your local land office and register the property into your name. This is a legal procedure that can only be performed by the local land office and not by any other government agency.

The Land Department is a government agency that handles all of the issues related to real estate in Thailand. They are responsible for the registration of property, issuing title deeds and regulating the land topography.

It is very important that the correct documentation is presented to the Land Department and all of the relevant information is correctly submitted. Failure to do so may lead to costly delays and even a refusal of registration of the property.

When you are ready to proceed with the transfer of your property, you will then need to present the following documents:

– Land Title Deed (Land Certificate) – this is the most common document used for real estate transactions in Thailand. It is a clear and secure document that will show who owns the land.

The land deed will have the title holder’s name and address on it as well as any previous owners who are still named in the deed. This will be a valuable piece of paper for you to keep as it will serve as a reference for all your future real estate transactions in Thailand.