What happens upon our demise is certainly not something we would like to think about but it is important to have good estate planning to ensure your loved ones are taken care of should you finally pass away. If there is no Thai Will, the intestate’s assets must be distributed in accordance with the classes of relations as stipulated in the CCC Article 1629 which are, in order of priority:
(3) Brothers and sisters of full blood;
(4) Brothers and sisters of half-blood;
(5) Grandfathers and grandmothers;
(6) Uncles and aunts. Before any distribution of the estate to the relatives, half of the estate, known as Sin Somros, will belong to the spouse, if any.
The rest will be equally distributed accordingly. If there are no living relations and no Thai Will, the estate will devolve on to the State. As such, we do strongly recommend making a Thai Will to cover all of your properties and assets in Thailand.
For those who own land under a company on a freehold basis, upon your demise your property would not simply be passed on to your heirs. Instead, it would be passed on in the form of shares. In the other words, your heir will receive shares of the company as opposed to the actual property itself which can involve complex legal mechanisms. It is therefore imperative that you arrange for the drafting of a Thai Will.
For those who acquired a property under a leasehold structure, it is worth mentioning that a lease is a personal right which is not attached to the property per se and essentially terminates when the lessee dies. Therefore, if you make a renewable long term lease and have already paid the rental in advance, you should also ensure that there is a succession clause in the lease contract so as to allow you to transfer your right of the lease to your heir. Nevertheless, you should still have a Thai Will which states your clear intention to pass on such rights to your loved ones.