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Thai Wills: What Is a Legatee?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Wills. We are specifically discussing something called a Legatee in Thailand.

I have often times used the parlance of the Common Law when we are discussing Wills. Specifically I will say probate a lot because in the common law tradition, probate is how one deals with matters pertaining to estates and distribution of property to heirs in the Common Law tradition. Strictly speaking "succession" is the right word to use specifically in the Thai Civil Law tradition when translating it back over into English. Please note, none of the language should be viewed as dispositive with respect to Thai Law. Thai Law is dealt with in Thai and the Thai language controls with respect to Thai Law. The other thing is I am not a Thai Attorney. I am an American Attorney as I have stated before. I have Thai citizenship and I am a Managing Director of this firm but I am not a Thai Attorney. This video was made by me for explanation purposes. It was vetted by Thai Attorneys on our staff but it is purely for informational and basic information purposes at that. It is not for making decisions with respect to your own estate planning. 

So quoting directly from the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, and this is from Book 6, Succession Title 1, Chapter 1. Devolution of an Estate. Chapter 2 Heirship and you can actually find this on our website, section 1603. Quoting directly: “An estate devolves on the heirs by statutory right or by Will. Heirs who are so entitled by law are called statutory heirs. Heirs who are entitled by Will are called legatees”. I am not going to get into the real down and dirty on this because again that is for purposes of a Thai Attorney. You can contact us; we have Thai Attorneys at our firm that deal a great deal with estate matters here in the Kingdom. 

Long story short, if you do not have a Will, then there may be prescription at law for how to deal with distribution of an estate. If you have a Will, then you may have a legatee that may be your heir pursuant to that Will notwithstanding sometimes even statutory heirs that could have existed otherwise, that Will may opt to override that. 

Again those are questions for a licensed Thai Attorney and to deal with them specifically on a case by case basis. Long story short, there is a difference in Thailand between those who gain heirship by law and those who gain heirship by the specific provisions of a Thai Will.