Drafting a Will

Drafting a Will in Thailand. You will note that the sections provided pertain to the rules of inheritance and succession in Thailand. Likewise, covering various aspects such as the appointment and duties of administrators, the rights of heirs, the validity and revocation of wills, and other related matters. You will need to refer to the original Thai text when needed. This is only a summary of comparative purposes.

Lastly also review the intestate succession laws for comprehensive understanding. If you have any specific questions or require further assistance, feel free to ask. See the article on Thailand family lawyer.

Drafting a Will



Section 1646

allows any individual, while contemplating death, to make a declaration of intention through a will regarding property dispositions or other matters, which will become effective as per legal provisions after their demise.

Furthermore, as per Section 1647, the most recent declaration of intention in imperative terms, as provided by the will, will hold precedence.

Section 1648 

specifies that the will must be executed in accordance with the prescribed forms detailed in Chapter II of this Title.

Moreover, as per Section 1649, the administrator of an estate, designated by the deceased, is tasked with arranging the funeral unless a specific person has been appointed for this purpose. If no administrator or appointed individual exists for the funeral arrangements, or if the heirs haven’t entrusted anyone with this responsibility, then the individual who has received the greatest amount of property through the will or statutory right is obligated to arrange the funeral. However, the court, upon application by any interested party, retains the authority to appoint another person for this task, if deemed appropriate.

Section 1650 

stipulates that expenses incurred by a person arranging for the funeral may be claimed with a preferential right, as specified in Section 253(2) of this Code.

If, for any reason, the funeral is postponed, the individual empowered under the preceding section must set aside a reasonable sum from the estate’s assets for this purpose. In instances where the appropriate amount for reservation cannot be determined or if objections arise, any concerned party may petition the Court for resolution.

However, it is essential to note that the expenses or reserved funds for the funeral arrangements should not exceed an amount appropriate to the social status of the deceased, and must not prejudice the rights of the deceased’s creditors.

Section 1651

outlines that, barring provisions within Title IV:

If an individual is granted, through a testamentary disposition, the entirety of the deceased’s estate, a portion thereof, or a residuary part that is not distinctly separated from the overall estate, they are termed a legatee under a general title. In this capacity, they hold equivalent rights and obligations as a statutory heir.

When an individual is granted, through a testamentary disposition, solely a specific property that is clearly identified or distinctly separated from the entirety of the estate, they are categorized as a legatee under a particular title. In this capacity, their rights and responsibilities are confined to that specific property alone.

In instances of uncertainty, a legatee is assumed to be a legatee under a particular title.

Section 1652

states that a ward, referring to a child or young person under the care and control of a guardian, is prohibited from making a legacy in favor of their guardian. Similarly, such a legacy cannot be made in favor of the guardian’s spouse, ascendant, descendant, or sibling until the rendering of the guardianship account, as provided by Section 1577 and following sections of this Code, is completed.

Section 1653

dictates that neither the writer of the will nor a witness to it can be a legatee under that will. This restriction extends to the spouse of the writer or witness as well. Moreover, the official responsible for recording witness statements under Section 1663 is deemed a writer within the purview of this section.

Section 1654 

specifies that the capacity of the testator must be evaluated only at the time of making the will, while the capacity of the legatee must be assessed only at the time of the testator’s death.


Type of Wills

Section 1655 

A will can only be made using the forms outlined in this chapter.

Section 1656 

A will must be in writing, dated at the time of creation. Likewise also signed by the testator in the presence of at least two witnesses who also sign at the same time. Any changes to the will must follow the same formalities.

Section 1657

A will can also be made in the form of a holograph document, where the testator writes the entire text, date, and signature by hand. Changes to this type of will must also be made by the testator and signed by them.

Section 1658 

A will can be made as a public document, where the testator declares their wishes to a Kromakarn Amphoe (local registrar) in the presence of two witnesses. The registrar notes down the declaration, reads it back, and everyone present signs the document. Any alterations must be signed by the testator, witnesses, and registrar.

Section 1659 

A public document will can be made outside the Amphoe Office upon request.

Section 1660

A will can also be made as a secret document, where the testator signs the document, seals it, and declares its contents before a Kromakarn Amphoe and witnesses. The Amphoe then certifies and seals the document, and all parties sign it.

Section 1661

If a deaf-mute or someone unable to speak wishes to make a will, they must write a statement on the cover declaring it as their will. The Amphoe then certifies this statement.

Section 1662 

Public and secret document wills must be kept confidential by the Kromakarn Amphoe during the testator’s lifetime. The will must be handed over to the testator upon request, with a copy made for record. Exceptional circumstances may permit an oral will, but it must be declared to witnesses and promptly reported to the Amphoe.

Sections 1663-1664 

An oral will is only valid under exceptional circumstances and becomes invalid after one month if the testator is able to make a will using the prescribed forms.

Sections 1665-1666 

Fingerprints certified by witnesses may serve as signatures in certain cases. Witnesses required for wills are exempt from certain provisions related to witnessing other legal documents.

Sections 1667-1668

Wills made in a foreign territory may follow the laws of that territory or Thai law. Testators are not required to disclose the contents of their will to witnesses.

Section 1669 

Individuals serving in the armed forces during conflict may make wills using prescribed forms, with certain authorities empowered to oversee the process.

Section 1670

prohibits certain individuals, such as those lacking mental capacity or incapacitated, from serving as witnesses for wills.

According to Section 1671, if someone other than the testator writes the will, they must sign it and explicitly declare themselves as the writer.

Furthermore, Section 1672 grants the Minister of Interior, Defense, and Foreign Affairs the power to issue regulations and establish fees pertaining to the provisions outlined in this chapter.

Lastly also see the articles on revoking a will as well as disinheritance as well. Lastly your spouse inheriting is also covered. See also the articles on a probate lawyer in Thailand or probate lawyers Bangkok option as well.


Interpretation of Wills

Section 1673 

Rights and duties established by a will take effect upon the death of the testator, unless specified otherwise by the testator.

Section 1674

If a testamentary disposition is subject to a condition, its effect depends on whether the condition is fulfilled before or after the testator’s death. If the condition is fulfilled before the testator’s death, the disposition takes effect. If it’s fulfilled after, the disposition may take effect from the testator’s death or later, depending on the testator’s intention.

Section 1675 

Beneficiaries of legacies subject to a condition precedent can apply to the court for the appointment of an administrator to manage the property until the condition is fulfilled or becomes impossible.

Section 1676

A will may establish a foundation or designate property for a specific purpose.

Section 1677

It is the duty of the heir or administrator to seek authorization from the government to establish a foundation as a juristic person unless the will states otherwise.

Section 1678

Properties appropriated for a foundation’s purpose are considered vested in the juristic person once it’s established, unless the will specifies otherwise.

Section 1679 

If a foundation cannot be organized as intended, the court may allocate the properties to other juristic persons with purposes similar to the testator’s intention.

Section 1680

Creditors may contest testamentary dispositions creating a foundation if they are prejudiced by it.

Section 1681 

If legacy property is lost, destroyed, or damaged, the legatee may claim a substitute or compensation.

Section 1682 

Legacies made by release, transfer, or claim are effective only up to the amount outstanding at the testator’s death, unless the will specifies otherwise.

Section 1683 

Legacies to creditors are presumed not to be made in payment of debts owed to them.

Section 1684 

When a clause in a will can be interpreted in multiple ways, the interpretation that best reflects the testator’s intention is preferred.

Section 1685 

If a legatee is described in a way that could refer to multiple people, all such individuals are presumed to be entitled to equal shares unless the will specifies otherwise.

Appointment of an Administrator

Section 1686

Trusts created by will or any juristic act, whether directly or indirectly, have no legal effect.

Section 1687 

If the testator wishes to leave property to a minor, a person adjudged incompetent or quasi-incompetent, or a person admitted into a mental hospital, but wants someone other than the parents, guardian, custodian, or curator to manage it, they must appoint a controller of property in their will. This appointment cannot exceed the minority or period of incompetency or hospitalization.

Section 1688

Appointment of a controller of property for immovable property or any real rights related to it must be registered by the competent official. This requirement also applies to ships over five tons, floating houses, and beasts of burden.

Section 1689 

Any natural or juristic person of full legal capacity, except those specified in Section 1557, can be appointed as a controller of property.

Section 1690 

A controller of property may be appointed by the testator themselves or by a person nominated for this purpose in the will.

Section 1691

Unless the testator specifies otherwise in the will, a controller of property can appoint another person to act on their behalf.

Section 1692 

Unless otherwise stated in the will, the controller of property has the same rights and duties concerning the entrusted property as a guardian under Book V of this Code.

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

Lastly also see the questions on is Thailand a signatory to the Hague convention as well as Thai inheritance law.


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