Thai Will and Succession

In Thailand, like many countries, having a will allows you to plan for the distribution of your assets after your passing. Understanding Thai inheritance laws and the process of creating a will ensures your wishes are respected, and your loved ones are adequately provided for. This guide explores Thai wills and succession, covering key concepts, legal requirements, and the benefits of having a will in place.

Intestacy vs. Having a Will:

If you die without a valid will (intestate), Thai inheritance laws dictate how your assets will be distributed.

  • Spouses and Children: The surviving spouse receives half of the estate, with the remaining half shared equally among legitimate children.
  • No Spouse or Children: Parents, siblings, and other relatives inherit according to a predetermined order.

Intestacy can lead to complications and potentially conflict with your wishes. Having a will allows you to:

  • Control asset distribution: Specify who inherits your assets and in what proportions.
  • Appoint guardians: Choose guardians for minor children.
  • Minimize family disputes: A clear will reduces the chances of disagreements about inheritance.
  • Protect beneficiaries: Provide for specific needs of beneficiaries, such as trusts for children’s education.

Types of Wills in Thailand:

There are two primary types of wills recognized in Thailand:

  • Holographic Will: This handwritten will requires your signature and two witnesses who sign in your presence. While valid, they can be challenged based on authenticity.
  • Notarial Will: This is the more secure option. The will is drafted in Thai by a lawyer, signed by you in front of a notary public and two witnesses. Notarial wills are harder to contest.

Important Note: Wills must be written in Thai. If you are not fluent in Thai, consider working with a bilingual lawyer to ensure your wishes are accurately translated and legally sound.

Requirements for a Valid Will:

A valid will in Thailand must meet the following criteria:

  • Testator Capacity: The will maker (testator) must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when creating the will.
  • Formalities: The type of will chosen (holographic or notarial) must comply with its specific formatting requirements.
  • Signature and Witnesses: The will must be signed by the testator and witnessed by two people who meet specific criteria (e.g., not beneficiaries in the will).

The Succession Process:

The process of administering an estate in Thailand typically involves the following steps:

  1. Probate: The will is submitted to the court for verification and probate. A probate certificate is issued, officially recognizing the will as valid.
  2. Appointing an Executor: The court appoints the executor named in the will (if any) to manage the estate. If no executor is named, the court will appoint one.
  3. Debt Settlement: The executor identifies and settles any outstanding debts of the deceased.
  4. Asset Distribution: The remaining assets are distributed according to the terms of the will.

This process can take several months, depending on the complexity of the estate.

Benefits of Having a Thai Will:

There are numerous advantages to having a well-crafted Thai will:

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your wishes are documented provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
  • Clarity and Control: A will ensures your assets are distributed according to your desires, minimizing confusion and disputes.
  • Protecting Dependents: You can ensure financial security for your spouse, children, or other dependents.
  • Minimizing Taxes: Proper estate planning through a will can potentially help reduce inheritance taxes for your beneficiaries.


Having a Thai will is a crucial step in securing your family’s financial future. Understanding the legalities and benefits empowers you to make informed decisions. Consulting with a lawyer experienced in Thai inheritance law can guide you through the process of creating a valid will that reflects your wishes and safeguards your loved ones. Remember, taking the time to plan for the future can save your family from unnecessary stress and complications during a difficult time.

 Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *