Devolution of an Estate

You will note that the Inheritance and Succession being (Sections 1599-1628) has been explained over the following pages. These sections govern the rules of inheritance and succession in Thailand. Not that this is rewritten and you will need to read the original Thai text to use it in court. Likewise you will also need to look at intestate succession laws.

Also this is primarily applies to relatives by blood or marriage, unmarried partners may still have inheritance rights. So under certain circumstances, particularly if they can establish a legal basis for their claim. See also the family lawyer Bangkok on here for advice. If you are going to retire in Thailand then also see the problems retiring in Thailand as well.

Devolution of an Estate

Devolution of an Estate

Section 1599 

As you will note that when a person dies, the heirs will receive the estate.

Likewise as an heir you can lose your right to the succession. This however only occurs under the provisions of this Code or other Thai laws.

Section 1600 

Likewise and subject to the provisions of this law. You will also note that the estate of the deceased includes all the property of the person. Likewise the rights, duties as well as the liabilities of the deceased person. The exception to the rules are those which by law or by their nature are purely personal to the deceased. (See: child custody as well as child maintenance in Thailand)

Section 1601 

Note that as an heir in the estate you will not be liable in excess of the property you are getting.

Section 1602 

provides that when an individual is presumed to have deceased pursuant to the provisions delineated in Section 62, a pertinent aspect of which is the declaration of missing status by a court, the individual is deemed to have passed away upon the lapse of the timeframe specified in Section 61.

It is noteworthy to examine the interplay between Section 62 and Section 61. Under Section 62, an individual who absents themselves from their domicile and their vital status remains uncertain for a duration of five years is deemed missing. However, if the absence is attributed to circumstances such as warfare, vehicular destruction, or imminent peril, the prescribed timeframe for presumed death is abbreviated to two years.

For comprehensive guidance on this matter, it is advisable to consult with our proficient probate lawyers Thailand. Furthermore, perusing the resources available on this website pertaining to Last Will & Testament is recommended. Therefore, if it is demonstrated that such person is alive or if their time of death differs from that specified in the declaration of disappearance, the succession of the estate passes to the lawful heirs. In such cases, the provisions of Section 63 of this Code will be applicable to determine their heirs.

Section 1603 

The deceased estate devolves on the heirs by statutory right or by their last will.

You as a heir are so entitled by law are called ‘statutory heirs’.

You as a heir who are entitles by will are called ‘legatees’. Note the difference between the two.



Section 1604 

To inherit from someone who has passed away, you need to be alive and recognized as a legal person when they died. This in accordance to Section 15 of this Code. (Section 15 : a person starts when a child is fully born and alive, and it ends when they die.) Also, if a baby is born alive within 310 days after the person’s death, they’re considered to have existed in the womb at the time of death.

Section 1605 

Note that when it comes to fraud during the Estate administration. If an heir cheats or hides property to unfairly benefit themselves. This at the expense of other heirs. They’ll be completely cut off from inheriting. If they cheat but not for the full amount. Likewise they will lose their inheritance only for the part they cheated with.

Note however that this rule doesn’t apply to someone who is given a specific item in a will. Likewise they still get that item even if they cheat.

Section 1606 

Likewise note that certain people are not allowed to inherit because they’ve done terrible things:

– Anyone convicted of intentionally causing the death of the deceased or someone who had a right to inherit before them. This is similar to Roman Dutch law maxim – “de bloedige hand neemt geen erfenis,” which translates to “the bloody hand does not inherit.” This principle likewise dictates that someone who unlawfully causes the death of another person cannot inherit from them.

– Anyone who knew the deceased was murdered but didn’t tell the authorities, unless they were under 16, mentally unable to understand right from wrong, or if the murderer was their spouse, parent, or child.

– Someone who used lies or force to make the deceased change their will, or who destroyed or hid a will. This is covered in the article on last will and testament which covers undue influence.

However, the deceased can forgive these actions in writing.

Likewise also see the articles on here on making a will in Thailand as well as the living will Thailand which has also become very popular. As for the cost of making a will in Thailand, it not that expensive. Lastly also ways

Section 1607

If someone is excluded from inheriting, it only affects them personally. Their children still inherit, but the excluded person can’t manage or enjoy any of the inherited property. See also Section 1548 being applied with necessary changes. (Section 1548: When a father seeks legitimation for a child, both the child and the mother must agree to it for the application to proceed.) See Child Legitimation on here.



Section 1608

If someone wants to disinherit one of their legal heirs, they must clearly state their intention to do so:

• They can exclude the person through a will.
• They can also do this by providing a written statement to the appropriate authority.
• It’s important that the disinherited person is clearly identified.

However, if someone distributes all their property through a will and doesn’t include a legal heir as a beneficiary, that heir is automatically disinherited.


Section 1609

A declaration of disinheritance can be canceled.
If the disinheritance was done through a will, it can only be canceled through another will.
If the disinheritance was done through a written statement to the authority, it can be canceled either by a will or another written statement.


Disinheritance in Thailand (Court Case)

According to Section 1608 of the Civil and Commercial Code, if the owner of the estate wants to exclude an heir from receiving their inheritance, they must clearly state this intention. If there is no such indication and it seems that the heir received a certain amount of money from the will, then it cannot be assumed that the heir is prevented from receiving the inheritance, as per the last paragraph of Section 1608.

In the case where a will specifies three land title deeds to one heir, but that heir dies before the inheritor, those lands then become part of the inheritance of the deceased. This inheritance must be shared proportionally among the legal heirs of the deceased. Read more on the devolution of an estate.

Supreme Court Judgment No. 1160/2497


Renunciation of an Estate

Section 1610 

When an estate goes to a minor, someone who is mentally unfit, or someone who can’t handle their own affairs according to Section 32 of this Code, and if they don’t already have a legal representative. Likewise, the court will appoint someone upon request from anyone interested or from the Public Prosecutor.

Section 1611 

If an heir is a minor, mentally unfit, or unable to handle their own affairs. Then, they can’t do certain things without permission:

– They can’t give up their right to inherit or refuse a legacy without their parents’, guardian’s, custodian’s, or curator’s consent and court approval.

– They can’t accept an inheritance or legacy that comes with conditions without the same consent and approval.

Section 1612 

If someone wants to give up their right to inherit or refuse a legacy. Likewise, they have to do it in writing and submit it with the appropriate authority. Likewise, they can do it through a legal agreement.

Section 1613

Giving up the right to inherit or refusing a legacy can’t be done partially or with conditions. And once it’s done, it can’t be changed.

Section 1614 

If someone gives up their inheritance or refuses a legacy knowing it will harm their creditor. Likewise, the creditor can ask for it to be canceled. However, if the person who benefits from the renunciation or refusal didn’t know it would harm the creditor, and if the renunciation or refusal was done for free, it can’t be canceled.

Likewise, after cancellation, the creditor can ask the court for permission to take the inheritance or legacy instead. Any remaining part of the renouncer’s share goes to their descendants or other heirs.

Section 1615

Giving up the right to inherit or refusing a legacy affects things as if it happened when the person died. If a statutory heir gives up their inheritance, their descendants get the same share.

Section 1616

If the descendants of the renouncer get the inheritance, the renouncer can’t manage or enjoy it, and Section 1548 applies. (See: Child Legitimation)

Section 1617 

If someone refuses a legacy, neither they nor their descendants can get it later.

Section 1618 

If a statutory heir gives up their inheritance and has no descendants, or if a legatee refuses a legacy, that part of the estate goes to the other heirs.

Section 1619 

You can’t give up or sell rights you might have to inherit from someone who’s still alive.


Statutory Right of Inheritance

Section 1620 

If someone dies without making a will, or if their will is invalid. Then, their entire estate will be shared among their statutory heirs as per the law. Even if a person made a will that only covers part of their estate, the remaining part will still be divided among their statutory heirs.

Section 1621 

Unless the testator (the person who made the will) states otherwise, a statutory heir can still claim their legal share of the inheritance, even if they received some property under the will.

Section 1622 

A Buddhist monk cannot inherit as a statutory heir unless they leave the monkhood and make their claim within the specified time limit. However, you will note that a monk can receive inheritance through a will.

Section 1623 

Property acquired by a Buddhist monk during their time as a monk. This property becomes the property of their monastery at their death. This, unless the Monk had dispose of it during their lifetime or through a last will.

Section 1624 

Property owned by a person before they became a Buddhist monk doesn’t become monastery property. Instead goes to their statutory heirs or can be disposed of according to the law.

Section 1625

If the deceased was married at the time. Then, the distribution of the property between the deceased and the surviving spouse follows certain rules. These rules, include provisions for the dissolution of marriage through death. This as well as the distribution of the deceased’s estate among their heirs.

Section 1626 

After the distribution of property between the deceased and the surviving spouse. The estate is divided among the statutory heirs based on different classes and degrees, as outlined in subsequent chapters.

Section 1627 

Legitimated illegitimate children and adopted children are treated the same as legitimate children when it comes to inheritance under this Code.

Section 1628

Spouses who are separated or deserted but not legally divorced still retain their statutory inheritance rights to each other.


Note: This is an unofficial translation provided for purposes of scholarship and information.


See also the articles on a probate services Thailand or probate lawyers Bangkok option as well. Likewise also see the making a will in Thailand articles as well as the living will Thailand as you can see. Lastly there is also the articles on classes in inheritance.


The information contained in our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advices. For further information, please contact us.