What Happens To My Estate If I Die And I Am Not Married?
This is a common question and an important one due to, what could be the ramifications of dying without a Will for your Partner, or you should you be Not Married. As a foreigner here in Thailand you cannot own land. Yes there are ways and means, sure, like owning property and not owning the land. But to keep it simple, owning land just isn’t going to happen. Therefore, making sure that if you have bought a property with your Thai Partner in Thailand, and you don’t wish to lose that home, should they die. Having a Will in place, stops you losing your home at the worst possible moment.
Should your Thai Partner die intestate, then every family member, but you, will be entitled to a piece of your home, motorbike, and car, when you are Not Married.
Generally, if any person has a will before his death, then the estate or property of that person will be distributed as per the Will. If the person dies without a will, then the intestate successions will take place.
Under Thai law there are 6 classes of legal heir, who are eligible to obtain the property of the deceased. One of the exceptions to the 6 classes of legal heir is if the deceased has a living spouse. In that case, the property of the deceased will be inherited by the spouse and the children of the deceased. But in the scenario, we are covering today, the person dies being Not Married. In such a case, this is what happens.
Should the deceased not be married, but they do have children. Then the Children become the Class I for inheritance and do supersede any other class.
Since the deceased has no descendants, then the second-class legal heirs of the deceased are the deceased parents. Should the deceased have surviving parents, then they can inherit the estate of the deceased as per Thai law.
Scenario-3: brothers and sisters of full blood and half blood
Should the parents no longer be around, the deceased brothers and sisters of full blood (when they are descended from a common ancestor), come under class-III. Should the deceased leave brothers and sisters of half-blood (when they are descended from a common ancestor but; by different wives) then they will come under class-IV. Should class-I and class-II heirs not be alive, then all is inherited by class-III. If only half siblings remain (class-IV) they will distribute among themselves.
The deceased has left no surviving parents or siblings, then we move to class-IV, surviving grandparents. They will then distribute among themselves in order to inherit the property. However, should there be Half-Blood siblings, they will need to be included at this stage.
Scenario-5: Uncle and Aunt
If the deceased has no one alive except uncles and or aunts then the property and estate of the deceased will be inherited by them equally.
Scenario-6: If no one is alive
If the deceased is an orphan and has no family, then the property of the deceased will be taken away by the state itself.
If you have not made a last will, the rules of intestate will determine what happens to your assets when you die. The legal situation is entirely different if you live in Thailand and are married to a Thai national of course. However, even if you are married and your partner dies without a Will, it still can get very messy as a foreigner.
So, it is always recommended that every person, either married or unmarried must have a will. Make sure that the property or the estate of the deceased will be distributed according to the will and your express wishes. If there is a will then the inheritance process becomes very simple and easy.
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