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Bitcoin, Wills, and Estate Planning in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Bitcoin in the context of Will drafting and Estate planning here in Thailand.

Bitcoin has definitely been a hot topic especially on the internet and YouTube etc. in recent weeks and months as the price of Bitcoin has been going up rather steadily. We deal with a number of clients especially with respect to Will drafting. Some of our older clients are even invested in Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin is something that you need to be really careful with in terms of estate planning because many of the things that make Bitcoin such an attractive asset for example its mobility, it's anonymity, these kinds of things, they can actually operate to the detriment possibly of one's proposed heirs. For this reason drafting a Will keeping this in mind where assets are held in Bitcoin rather than fiat currency perhaps held in a bank account, financial instruments, stocks, bonds, mutual funds for example, as well as real estate, considerations with Bitcoin when drafting a Will they are different. You need to almost draft a Will, certain provisions where we have dealt with it where Bitcoin was almost just dealt with separately within the codicils of the will. 

The other thing to keep in mind with respect to Bitcoin and estate planning in Thailand, there are issues to remember with respect to Tax Residence in Thailand, certain capital gains; possible issues associated with that. Also with respect to transfer, for lack of a better term, of ownership as one needs to be aware how they get the ownership transferred to their heirs with respect to Bitcoin especially in the context of things like the keys associated with confirming the transfer from one person to another; again not to get too deep into all of that but everything associated with formalizing the transaction, of moving it from one person to another if you even need to do that or perhaps just access to an account access to a wallet. Again this is all going to be very fact specific, factually dependent, circumstantially dependent. 

The thing to take away from this video is when dealing with estate planning in Thailand you already need to deal with certain things that you might not need to deal with for example in a western context but when dealing with Bitcoin there are even further specific considerations that should be made.