How to make a valid will in Thailand

Last will and testament forms

A last will and testament in Thailand is the instrument by which a person declares his will as to disposal of his assets or estate and effects after his death. A Thai will and testament, to be valid, must be made by a person of sound mind and it must be in one of the forms as prescribed in chapter II of the Civil and Commercial Code sections 1655 to 1672.

  1. The most common last will and testament in Thailand is a last will in writing, dated at the time of making and signed by the testator in the presence of at least 2 witnesses who sign their names to certify the signature of the testator (section 1656 of the Civil and Commercial Code). It is not required that such a will is notarized or registered for it to be a valid legal will.
  2. A last will in Thailand can also be made as a public document at the local amphur (or in Bangkok these local public offices are called Khet), by a declaration to the relevant public officer. The testators must declare his wishes (in Thai) to public officer who in his turn must write down the testators declaration in the will in Thai (section 1658 of the Civil and Commercial Code). The official must again read it to the testator and witnesses who following must sign the last will drawn up by the public officer. One requirement for such a will is that you must be able to read and write Thai.
  3. A last will can be made at the same amphur by a secret document. The testator in this case must close the document (his last will), sign it and hand it over to the same official (section 1660 of the Civil and Commercial Code). Two witnesses must also sign the closed document and the official will seal the closed last will and testament.
  4. A person may under Thai law in certain cases, i.e. exceptional circumstances such as imminent danger of death and where the person is prevented of making his will in any of the other forms a prescribed in Chapter II sections 1655 to 1672 of the Civil and Commercial Code, make a valid will by word of mouth only.
  5. A person under Thai law may also make a holographic testament, i.e. a testament written wholly by the testator himself, including the date of writing and signature of the testator (section 1657 Civil and Commercial Code).

Witnesses of a Will and Executors (administrators)

Witnesses and executors of a Last Will in Thailand can be Thai or foreigner.

The following person cannot witness a last will (section 1670):

  1. Minors
  2. A person of unsound mind or quasi-incompetent persons under a Court’s order
  3. Deaf or dumb or blind persons
  4. A beneficiary in the last will and his or her spouse.

The following persons cannot be an administrator or executor of the will:

  1. Minors
  2. Persons of unsound mind or quasi-incompetent person under Court’s order
  3. Bankrupt person under a Court’s judgment

The execution or administration of a last will in Thailand is subject to the appointment of an administrator and the court determines if the testator has made a valid will. If no valid legal will has been made, i.e. the property of the deceased is not disposed of by a legal will, the estate will be divided among the statutory heirs according to the statutory inheritance laws read more...