Making a Will

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Big Boy
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Making a Will

Post by Big Boy »

Mrs BB and I (well, Mrs BB actually :oops: ) have decided that it is time to make a will.

Problem is that Mrs BB has no knowledge where to start, and I have an inbuilt mis-trust of solicitors. Please don't get me wrong, I'm sure that most will be honest, but I have a phobia, and avoid them as much as I can.

Although we should be comfortable in Thailand until the end of our days, neither of us has very much i.e.:

My only possessions are my car, my phone and my laptop. Of course, I have a little money and my pension as well.

Mrs BB owns the house, land and all possessions therein.

The purpose of the wills would be to ensure whoever is left behind, Mrs BB or me and our son will be able to carry on living in the house with no hassle. Therefore, my requirements are simple.

What I need is a recommendation for somebody to draw up 2 simple wills at a cost that isn't going to swallow up any legacy.

Thank you in anticipation.
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sand_dancer
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Re: Making a Will

Post by sand_dancer »

BB

I cannot speak for Thailand..... But in the UK my will cost less than 200 quid....

I really should make one for my meagre possessions in Thailand.....

So if you find someone who fits the bill..... Please share the details.....
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buksida
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Re: Making a Will

Post by buksida »

There is a thread on Wills here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=16319

I went through the process a couple of years ago, the law firms in Hua Hin were quoting silly prices for what effectively is a translation and legal stamp job.
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Re: Making a Will

Post by hhfarang »

We did it when we first moved here, and I, like you Big Boy don't trust lawyers in general, especially those who set up shop and call themselves a lawyer when they are really just a paralegal like many here in Hua Hin. (and most politicians in the U.S. were lawyers before they went into politics :guns: )

For peace of mind we had both of ours drawn up by a big very professional law firm in Bangkok. I think it cost around 10k baht, but I feel it was done legally and correctly so for me it was worth it. The main point then was the big house and land we owned in my wife's name. Should something have happened to her before me, that would have gone to her relatives and I could have been tossed out on my ass with nothing. Our will stipulated that in the case I outlived her I had control of the property for life including the freedom to sell it and keep the money or live in it for the rest of my life. Another longtime expat here pointed me to the law firm as he had done the same thing and his wife did pass away before him about 9 years ago. He continued to live in the home after going through probate court (because of the will) until very recently when he sold it. Had he not had that will his wife's relatives could have (and probably would have) tossed him out onto the street immediately.

If you own your home, make sure it covers this possibility as well as who will inherit your possessions should both of you pass at the same time.

Also, if you have any assets in the U.K. or if what happens to your pension would be questionable. You need wills there too. The Thai will only covers Thailand. We had to do two in the U.S. and two in Thailand.

We used these people for our Thai wills... very professional large law firm. It was a while ago so if you decide to use them call ahead for the current cost.

http://www.pensitandlaws.com/about_us.html
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Re: Making a Will

Post by J.J.B. »

As with any legal service, you don't need a lawyer or a paralegal etc. to do anything for you as it's really just a case of putting the words in the right order and in the right format. Likewise, you can remove your own appendix or even ask your neighbour to do it if you so desire since it's just a case of putting the body bits in the right places. It is advisable, however, to seek professional advice and mainly if something goes wrong and you need to rely on their support later down the line to make things right or defend what they did in a court of law.

Mrs JB and I have the bulk of our affairs in the UK but alarmingly don't have any Wills drawn-up despite her constantly nagging me to do so. Nevertheless, when we completed our house in Hua Hin, we had Thai Wills drawn-up at Chavalit Finch (as they were at the time) for a cost of 7,000 THB plus 7% VAT - so 7,490 THB for both of them. A friend of mine is a probate lawyer and said that UK law wouldn't cover our property in Thailand so it was advisable to have something drawn-up to cover anything there since anything from the UK would have no jurisdiction in the LOS. Considering our Wills in the UK were quoted at £600 each plus 20% VAT, I thought that £150 for the pair in Thailand seemed like a good deal.

There has been some griping and moaning about lawyers in HH on the forum but everyone is welcome to manage their own affairs entirely. The one good thing about your Will is that you won't be around to worry about the aftermath if it all goes tits-up but perhaps some kind of well-established law firm will be. That's got to be worth a few quid in my book.
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Re: Making a Will

Post by lomuamart »

I'm being nagged (by my father) to make a will.
It can be done, totally legally, by myself. Just of sane mind (sort of) and witnessed and dated.
I've just never thought about my meagre assets too much. A few quid in the bank and a property in London. And a private pension that should start in a few years.
So, I just need to decide how to split the money. I think that's pretty easy - all to my wife less a percentage for my nephews (that'll be held in trust for their education). That's it really.
I'm certain that there are some websites that describe how to make your own will. If I do it that way, I'll have it attested by the Embassy.
Many years ago, I did study law and the whole thing about a will is its intention and the probate.
JJB gives some solid advice above.
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malcolminthemiddle
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Re: Making a Will

Post by malcolminthemiddle »

If it is important to you that on your death your last wishes are carried out a legally binding Will in each country were you own assets is a must. To ensure each Will is legally binding according to the laws of each country, professioinal advice should be sort.
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Re: Making a Will

Post by Nereus »

malcolminthemiddle wrote:If it is important to you that on your death your last wishes are carried out a legally binding Will in each country were you own assets is a must. To ensure each Will is legally binding according to the laws of each country, professioinal advice should be sort.
Yes, this is absolutely good advice. A Thai will has to be written in Thai to be legal. You can have a "copy" written in your own language, but the Thai one will prevail in any court.

To do that you need it to be drawn up by somebody that knows "legal speak", so that it does not contain any ambiguous wording that some smart a---s lawyer can twist around if there is a dispute. It needs to be done here, any comments about what happens in the UK, or anywhere else, have nothing to do with it, but it should state that it is only for assets in Thailand.

If you have property to leave elsewhere, that needs a seperate will that clearly complies with the laws of that country. It can be done in Thailand, but not by Somchai that does not have the resources to research just what is required.

Please do not ask me how I know. :guns:
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Re: Making a Will

Post by StevePIraq »

It is not difficult, you can prepare a will on your own utilizing any of the free on line templates, even if not in Thai it is accepted as long as you have two witnesses sign the document.
This will only apply for Thailand, If you assets in another country you need a will in that country, it can also be a free download type and this is accepted in UK and Australia.

I have checked in all three countries and been told by lawyers it is quite acceptable
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Re: Making a Will

Post by Nereus »

....even if not in Thai it is accepted as long as you have two witnesses sign the document.
Sorry mate that is complete c--p! Have you been through it while trying to come to terms with a dead wife and a couple of shifty step kids intent on getting all that they can for nothing?

I hope that you never have to find out just how it works here, so do not offer advice to others until you do!
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Re: Making a Will

Post by sateeb »

http://www.samuiforsale.com/family-law/ ... i-law.html

A person under Thai law may also make a holographic testament, i.e. a testament written wholly by the testator himself, including the date of writing and signature of the testator (section 1657 Civil and Commercial Code).
A person must be at least 15 years of age or he cannot witness or make a will. The beneficiary in the last will or testament cannot be a witness of the will.


http://www.samuiforsale.com/other-misce ... -will.html
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Re: Making a Will

Post by Big Boy »

Thank you all very much for your help and advice. Unfortunately, when I said
Problem is that Mrs BB has no knowledge where to start
I couldn't have been further from the truth.

Mrs BB received a phone call while we were in Tesco yesterday, and said we had to go home immediately. Somebody was waiting outside the house to see us.

When we got home, I was introduced to a lady (solicitor) who Mrs BB had arranged to drive up from Prachuap to draw up our wills. She'll be back on Monday with the completed wills for signature.

Apologies to everybody for what proved to be a non-question. However, the discussion has raised some interesting points.
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Re: Making a Will

Post by StevePIraq »

sateeb wrote:http://www.samuiforsale.com/family-law/ ... i-law.html

A person under Thai law may also make a holographic testament, i.e. a testament written wholly by the testator himself, including the date of writing and signature of the testator (section 1657 Civil and Commercial Code).
A person must be at least 15 years of age or he cannot witness or make a will. The beneficiary in the last will or testament cannot be a witness of the will.


http://www.samuiforsale.com/other-misce ... -will.html
Exactly as I stated
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Re: Making a Will

Post by Nereus »

sateeb wrote:http://www.samuiforsale.com/family-law/ ... i-law.html

A person under Thai law may also make a holographic testament, i.e. a testament written wholly by the testator himself, including the date of writing and signature of the testator (section 1657 Civil and Commercial Code).
A person must be at least 15 years of age or he cannot witness or make a will. The beneficiary in the last will or testament cannot be a witness of the will.
http://www.samuiforsale.com/other-misce ... -will.html
I have not read the links, sateeb, but your quote is exactly what happened to me. My late Thai wife made such a will, witnessed by somebody that was still alive when she passed away, and the courts rejected it outright. Also, It only takes ONE indivdidual out of the long list of "heirs" in this country to lodge an objection and you are looking at up to 10 years to resolve it.

It may well be written as such in the Commercial Code, but go to court and it will be interperated as the judge sees fit, and the first objection will be if it is written in any other language than Thai. In fact, the courts will not accept a case where ALL the documents are not written in Thai.

This type of thing really gets up my nose. Here we have a genuine request for guidance about a very serious matter, and along come the bar room lawyers claiming to know how it all works. I would also hope that the real estate company that sateeb has linked to has a genuine desire to protect their clients, or is it just like manny other estate agents that just add things like that to try and impress clients that do not know better.

And for what it`s worth, the same thing happened in Australia when my late mother passed away.

Big Boy, I am pleased to hear that your wife has the sense to employ somebody that should know. But I would advise you to have the finished will translated by an independent translator to ensure that it is as you want it. :cheers:
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Re: Making a Will

Post by Ratsima »

My wife is a lawyer who does wills frequently. She charges next to nothing to do the work.

She starts out with a questionnaire that the client completes at their leisure. From the questionnaire she does an interview to gather details on assets and the desired disposition. Then she makes a draft will for the client to review.

For clients who are not Thai, the final product will be in Thai and English.

The process is not difficult and shouldn't be expensive.

(I'm not soliciting business here — she's busy enough, thank-you).
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