Thai Widows & Expats - Services

Discussion in 'Thai Widows & Expats' started by CO-CO, May 29, 2020.

  1. CO-CO

    CO-CO Surin Founding Father

    Following Ivor's post about Isaan Lawyers, and Nomad's comment about Thai Widows, it occurred to us that we hadn't updated our current list of services.

    Broadly, these are as follows:-

    UK Passport renewals

    UK Oz and Schengen visas

    Wills for Farangs and Thais

    Help for Widows claiming pensions and access to late husbands estate

    Certifying Life Certificates

    Document Translations

    Essentially, Thai Widows & Expats is two old blokes who (in addition to 75+ years experience in the service industry) have 52 years combined experience of life in Thailand. We can usually find the answer to most Thai-related questions - if not, we can at least point you in the right direction.

    Just a quick comment on Wills. Isaan Lawyers video had some useful content and Sebastian has a wealth of experience. We would actually say that if anyone quotes more than 5,000 Baht for a straight-forward Will, step back and find another quote. Thai Widows supply a basic Living Will free of charge. Remember that that whilst the option of an Amphur Will is perfectly sound, it is ONLY worded in Thai and for most people on this forum that means that you have no idea what you are signing.

    One last important fact regarding Wills......... marriage invalidates a Will. Anyone who made a Will, say, covering assets in the UK that you wish to bequeath to kids, and subsequently marries in Thailand - that Will is invalid. Dying intestate means that ALL assets pass (usually) to a wife, and that may not be what you wanted. We have seen this happen on more than one occasion.
  2. Ivor the Engine

    Ivor the Engine Nowhere man

    Good info thanks. Can I ask a question, please?
    I heard that if your married to a Thai, under Thai law, if your wife dies before you (a farang husband), you might not automatically get All her assets (marital home) passing on to you (her husband). Her dependant family/kids have a greater right to her assets than you?

    (Asking for a friend, as I'm no longer married)
  3. CO-CO

    CO-CO Surin Founding Father

    Correct Ifor............................... without a Will the Thai rules of intestacy apply and there are several classes of statutory heir:-

    If you have NOT made a Last Will or Testament, or valid will, the law (intestacy rules) will determine what happens to your assets when you die. Under Thai inheritance laws this generally means that the assets will be distributed amongst the statutory heirs. Under section 1629 of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand there are 6 classes of statutory heirs and they are entitled to inherit in the following order:

    1. descendants
    2. parents
    3. brothers and sisters of full blood
    4. brothers and sisters of half blood
    5. grandparents
    6. uncles and aunts
    7. The surviving spouse is a statutory heir, subject to the special provisions of Section 1635 Civil and Commercial Code.

    Distribution in the absence of a will

    Thai inheritance laws designate intestate heirs and so long as there is an heir surviving in one of the classes, the heir of the lower class has no entitlement to share in the assets. The one exception is where there is a descendant and a parent in which case they take an equal share (section 1630). If there is more than one heir in any one class, they take an equal share of the entitlement available to that class. The surviving spouse is a statutory heir but their entitlement depends on what other class of statutory heir exists. If there are surviving children of the deceased, the spouse and children take the estate between them. Therefore, if there are three children, then the estate is divided in to four equal shares.
    nomad97 likes this.
  4. nomad97

    nomad97 Ordinary member Staff Member

    I was aware of what could happen should my wife die before me. I was concerned that without a will, someone in her family could have a claim on her estate to the detriment of myself. To protect my own interests and those of our two daughters, my wife made a Thai will, with a solicitor, several years ago. It should be remembered, under Thai law, a foreigner may inherit land as a statutory heir, but he cannot register ownership of the land because he will not be given permission. Under present law, he must dispose of the land within a reasonable period (meaning up to 1 year) to a Thai national. If the foreigner fails to dispose of the land the Director-General of the Land Department is authorized to dispose of the land and retain a fee of 5% of the sale price before any deductions or taxes. My wife made legal provisions in her will, for me to remain in the family house for as long as I should so wish. However, to stay within the law, ownership of the house will be divided equally between my two Thai daughters.
  5. CO-CO

    CO-CO Surin Founding Father

    Did you consider a usufruct, or superficiaries, to protect your occupancy/usage.
    Ivor the Engine likes this.
  6. Prakhonchai Nick

    Prakhonchai Nick Surin Founding Father

    This is to be recommended if the children to whom the property is left in the Will, are not those of the surviving spouse. There have been cases where the wife's children have hounded the widower out of the home that he was allowed to remain in.
    The risk is probably far less when the children are those of both the deceased wife and her husband. A decision for husband and SWMBO to decide upon whilst both are still living.
  7. CO-CO

    CO-CO Surin Founding Father

    I agree with that.

    Our job is arguably to eliminate ANY risk, or at least ensure the client makes a decision based on full understanding of the risks.

    In the highly unlikely event that SWMBO predeceases Nomad and the equally unlikely event his daughters turn against him, I would hate to have him knocking on our door saying "Why TF didn't you advise me to arrange a usufruct".......
  8. nomad97

    nomad97 Ordinary member Staff Member

    I did consider all the risks and I was fully involved with the writing of the will. The will was drawn up with my full consent. The risk of my own daughters throwing me out of what would be their house is, in my opinion, very slim indeed. Firstly, we are a very close and loving family and I have no such concerns that our daughters would throw me out. Secondly, in the unlikely event that they did so, they would know that they would be going against their departed mother's specific wishes. Moreover, it would indicate that our loving relationship had broken down beyond reconciliation. I very much doubt that I would wish to remain in Surin if that were the case. Finally, if I was a younger man, I may have considered arranging a 'usufruct'. However, given my advancing years, it was my expressed wish that our two daughters inherited the house too.

    Of course, it is 'horses for courses'. Each foreigner living in Thailand should consider his position and make provisions to cover the early demise of his Thai wife or partner. I have considered my position, weighed up my options and, I am happy to say, both my wife and I have legal and up to date wills in place that express our wishes once we die. :D:D:D
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
    Wanderer and Prakhonchai Nick like this.
  9. Prakhonchai Nick

    Prakhonchai Nick Surin Founding Father

    I, like Nomad, am happy to think that in unfortunate circumstances, our children would not throw me out, and do not have a usufruct or similar. Problems have arisen in the past when a loving daughter marries a no-good man, who wants the house vacated and sold so that he has money for drugs/gambling, mia nois etc,. and the daughter is not strong enough to stop him causing problems for Dad. I will take my chances:D
    Wanderer and nomad97 like this.
  10. robjak

    robjak Surin relic

    I would just hire a cat D8 if it happened to me and fuk the consequences.[​IMG]
  11. Prakhonchai Nick

    Prakhonchai Nick Surin Founding Father

    Many years ago a farang in Isaan was left with his daughter when his wife and the child's mother died. The wife's family were incensed that the husband had control of the property on behalf of the child and made life absolutely hell for both of them.

    After consulting with the police, and being assured he would not be charged with arson, he burnt the house down and moved with the child to Bangkok. The child still retained ownership of the land.:D
    nomad97, mahdam and robjak like this.
  12. CO-CO

    CO-CO Surin Founding Father

    In the words of James Bond....Never Say Never.

    This is nothing about love or trust or any emotional thing. It is about what COULD happen without the appropriate protections being in place.

    In my banking days - and more so since I have been in Thailand - I have seen things happen that fly in the face of trust/love or anything else. Money, greed plus external influences are the worse combination.

    As I said, understanding what the risks are and then acting in the knowledge of those risks is the way to go. No one needs to justify their actions..........
    Moderators, nomad97, Wanderer and 3 others like this.
  13. Wanderer

    Wanderer Cannot re - Member

    I never read all this before - what good info.
    And it has really set me thinking.

    I made a will in UK, my son and daughter as executors, detailing how assets should be divided, with a simple cash sum (only) to my wife in Thailand.
    In Thailand we did detailed documents, through the "usual" Surin lawyer, including provision for me to continue living in the house if I wished to do so, plus a division of assets from the house when sold
    Basically the idea was things in Thailand go to her children, (split of house sale excepted), things in UK go to my children, (cash sum to wife excepted, plus company pension matters which are separate and have been updated.)
    I was trying to keep things simple.
    BUT all that was BEFORE we got married 7 years ago, which took place in Surin.

    Co-Co - are you telling me that my UK will may now be invalid? It has never come up in conversation in UK - official or social.
    Whatever the answer I will do some homework when I get back to UK next week
    Re-Thai aspects, I would echo all Nomad's sentiments, but again I'm thinking "if something can happen, then one day it will."
    If I need to update things then I will do that, and I would ask to see you about doing it.
    Moderators likes this.
  14. CO-CO

    CO-CO Surin Founding Father

    Your UK Will is invalid as a result of the subsequent marriage. Die tomorrow and the UK rules of intestacy will apply i.e. everything to your spouse.

    If you want to immediately eliminate that risk we can send you something that will serve the purpose - at least temporarily.
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  15. Prakhonchai Nick

    Prakhonchai Nick Surin Founding Father

    Temporarily, if the UK Will you drew up years ago before marriage still basically meets the requirements, then just have it rewritten and signed by you with 2 new witnesses (ray and I can witness) That will then give you peace of mind and you have time to cionsider whether everything you wanted before still remains the same.

    Was your Thai Will drawn up AFTER marriage? Same rules apply in Thailand.
    Wanderer and CO-CO like this.
  16. Wanderer

    Wanderer Cannot re - Member

    Yes, please do, if practical to do so. I leave Surin next Saturday, early morning.
    Next Sunday's flight means Boeing engines...

    I was going to send a quick update email to son, daughter, wife confirming details of will still correct, and why I'm sending it, but I'm guessing legal standing of that would be dubious. But I'll do it anyway.
  17. Wanderer

    Wanderer Cannot re - Member

    UK will is in Portsmouth

    Thai will was also before marriage.
    I guess sort that when I return from UK, as implications not as big financially.
  18. CO-CO

    CO-CO Surin Founding Father

    Agree..... that is pointless ...... either Nick or I will drop you a line to get beneficiary details - just need names for this quick fix.
  19. Surin

    Surin Surin Dinosaur

    Thank god for Usufructs and a female judge in Thailand. My first wife didn't get a teaspoon. Usufruct or not, she transferred my 2 homes, factory and 2 new pickups to her mother. Being married I was entitled to 50% and she and her mother were entitled to fraud and theft charges being laid.
    Our 2 sons got their names on the title and I got the property for life and my 2nd wife has full rights to the property followed by our 3 children.
    Cops are corrupt, so too lawyers and prosecutors, but judges on the whole are reasonable after swearing their oaths to the last king. Don't know what it's like now though.
    Jesus, I love being away from all that crap now.
  20. Ivor the Engine

    Ivor the Engine Nowhere man

    And that is exactly why I referred to you and (at the time) new wife, when I needed advice about divorce in Surin. We met many years ago in the Sports Bar opposite Martins place.

    Judges cannot take bribe money for the reasons mentioned, so mine had me send it to his relatives accounts!!!! The legal system hasn't got any better, Rob. To date I've had dealings with 3 court-cases and my/our side has won every one. Next retrial is this coming August, but I'm just a witness to an attempted murder!
    Surin likes this.
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