Is an English Will valid in Thailand?
You have decided to live here in Thailand. You have assets at home in the US, the UK or whichever other English-speaking country you call home. If you have done the right thing, you no doubt have a Will in that country to cover those assets. It’s written in English and, more importantly, you decided to include your assets that you have accumulated here in Thailand too. So, the question now becomes, ‘Is and English Will Valid in Thailand?’ Well, you will be glad to know the answer to this question is an absolute YES.
But first, let us look into the pre-requisite conditions to what constitutes a valid will, those are:
- The testator must attain at least 15 years of age and should have the full mental capacity
- The will can be in either in Thai language or in the English language
- The making of a will should be a voluntary act and should not be done due to undue influence, i.e. third party forcing the testator to write a will in his or her favor
- The testator must sign the will and it has to be attested by two witnesses, who are not beneficiaries of the will
As the second pre-requisite condition clearly mentions here, there is no mandate for a will to be in the Thai language, it can also be written in the English language.
What happens if a will is in the English Language?
If your will is in the English language, then the Will needs to be translated to Thai at the time of your death. Counsel for the testator will normally translate the will into the Thai language. While preparing a will in the English language the counsel for testator will prepare the same will in the Thai language simultaneously. So that it will speed up the administrative process.
Even though courts will accept a Will in English, but before presenting, the Will then needs to be translated into the Thai language. Afterall, Thai is the official language of the court.
As per Thai law, whenever a will is executed in two languages, that is, one in Thai language and the other in another language. And should there be any discrepancies between the two versions, then the will executed in the Thai language shall govern. In other words the Thai language will override all other languages, in Thailand.
Court process if the will is in the English Language:
Should your Will be presented to the Thai Court at your untimely death. The official translator of the court will translate the English will into the Thai language. They then send a copy to the counsel of the testator, whereby the counsel will have to give consent to the translation stating that the will written in the Thai language is the same as what the testator wrote in English.
If the translator gets the consent from the testator’s counsel then the same will, which is written in the Thai language will be submitted to the court or if the testator’s counsel has any objection, the translator will modify the will according to the testator’s objection and only if the testator satisfies with the translation, then the translated copy will be submitted to the court.
The whole process unfortunately is not a quick one. This process has been known to take 1-2 years.
In Conclusion ‘Is An English Will Valid In Thailand:
Is an English Will Valid in Thailand? An English will is undoubtedly valid in Thailand, but for speedy administrative actions. It is certainly recommended that you get that translated in to the Thai language. It will only cause pain and anguish for those left behind.
If you would like to speak with ThaiWills.com about your English written will getting translated and notarized, then get in touch. Use the form at the foot of the page and we will be only too happy to help.
Alternatively, if you currently don’t have a Will in place at the moment, get in touch.
 The Civil and Commercial Code, §.14 (Thailand)