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What is a Last Will and Why Do I Need One

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What is A Last Will?

The last will is a legal document whereby the testator can explain the distribution of his/her property or assets after his/her death.  

What is a last will and why do I need one? | ThaiWills.com

Requirements of valid will:

  1. The testator and witnesses should attain legal age and cannot be minors.
  2. The testator and witnesses should be sound-minded.
  3. The testator should have the intention to make disposition of his/her property through will.
  4. Such an intention should be voluntary and the will cannot be done due to coercion or forcibly.
  5. The will should be signed by the testator and should be attested by at least two witnesses.  

The will under Thai law can be done in the following ways:

1. Generally, the Will has to be made in writing and has to be signed by the testator and it has to be attested by at least two witnesses[1], whereby all the parties to the will should be of sound mind and witnesses cannot be deaf or dumb or blind; or under guardianship or dependents[2], or

2. The testator may declare his/her will  as a public document to kromakarn Amphoe, before at least two other persons as witnesses and the Kromakarn Amphoe will read it after the testator declares it and the same document has to be signed by the testator and witnesses as well[3], or

3.  A testator may make his/her last will by a secret document whereby the testator must sign it and witnesses has to attest that such document is the last will of the testator and such document will be sealed by Kromakarn Amphoe[4], or

4. In exceptional cases like imminent danger or war, a person can make his/her last will orally, and in such cases, the testator must declare his intention before at least two witnesses and the same witnesses should state the will to kromakarn Amphoe and same shall be attested by two witnesses[5].

Generally in case of any additions or subtractions to the Will can only be done by the testator with his/her signature and not by anybody else. In the case of an illiterate person, the last will can be prepared by a writer and the writer should add a statement saying that he/she is the writer.

Why Do I Need Last will?

The last will clearly state to whom the testator’s assets and property should go after the testators death. In case, if the testator has no last will, then the assets and property of the testator will go through intestate succession whereby the state laws will apply and the assets of the deceased will be distributed among the classes of heirs. Under the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, 6 classes of statutory heirs who can inherit the deceased property and assets according to their class[6]. so it is important for every person to have their last will, so that their loved ones can enjoy the testator’s property and assets after his/her death.

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[1]  Civil and Commercial Code, §.1656, (Thailand)

[2] Id. §.1670

[3] Id.§.1658

[4] Id. §.1660

[5] Id. §.1663

[6] Id. § 1629

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