Making your Last Will in Thailand

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Do you want to make sure that all your possessions will be used according to your wish after your death? To ensure that, state your intention in a Thai will. A valid will may be written in either Thai or English. If written in English only, the will needs to be translated to Thai before presentation to any relevant authority.

Under Thai law, there are five types of will:
WRITTEN WILL – This will could be either typed or hand-written by a lawyer, the testator (the person making the will) or their legal representative. The written will must be dated at the time of making and signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses present at the same time.

HOLOGRAPHIC WILL – This will must be wholly hand-written by the testator and signed by him/her. No witnesses are then needed.

WILL MADE AT PUBLIC MUNICIPALITY – This will must be made as a registered document with the local municipality with the district officer (Nai Amphoe). The testator must make a declaration to district officer and there must be two witnesses present. Both the testator and the witnesses must sign their names after having the declaration noted by district officer ascertained. The district officer then signs, dates and seals the will.

SECRET WILL – This will may be hand-written or typed. The testator must sign their name on the document, physically seal the document in an envelope and sign their name across the place of closure. Then, the testator must take the sealed document to the district officer in the presence of two witnesses and declare to all of them that the sealed document contains his/her will. The district officer will note the declaration of the testator on the envelope and the testator and witnesses will also sign on it. The will is kept in a safe place by the district officer.

ORAL WILL – This will can only be made when the testator faces exceptional circumstance such as terminal illness or imminent danger. The testator must deliver orally their intention in the presence of two witnesses present at the same time. Then these witnesses must promptly appear at the local municipality to inform the date and place in which the spoken will of the testator was given.

The district officer will note the statements of the witnesses, and the witnesses must sign their names on the statement. No erasure, addition or other alteration of the will is valid unless signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses and the witnesses must then sign the amended will.

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