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Are There Trusts in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today we are going to be discussing trusts specifically, and as the question posted to the title of this video “are there trusts in Thailand?” There is another video where we discussed the issues of equity, law and equity in a common law context as well as in the context of Thailand.  I urge those who are watching this video to check that out; that goes into more depth. I kind of thought that I had laid this issue to rest but I have had this question come up fairly frequently in the last few weeks, most notably, “Are there trusts in Thailand?”  “Does Thailand utilize trust?” The short answer is effectively, “NO!” and from a day to day standpoint, the answer is an affirmative “NO” or is an unequivocal “NO”! Let me preface this by saying there are a couple of trust like things they  may occur in some specialized banking contexts, you know, in an international context where banks in Thailand are interacting with other banks abroad. That’s not for this video; that’s getting into some really complex territory.

What are we talking about? We are talking about Trust, like a living trust; you place a house into a trust. When you pass away the trustees take over. The beneficiaries reap the rewards of the trust without it actually being probated and being inherited by an individual so you can avoid certain estate taxes. There may be various tax incentives to having a trust set up. Also, those types of entities are very, very useful to certain individuals long term, because you can place a good number of assets into them and again the trust exists notwithstanding the fact that the original person who purchased said land for example has passed away; the trust maintains control of that for those purposes. So trusts have some benefits. Thailand simply does not have a jurisprudential history of usage of equity. Notions of equity simply do not exist in Thailand so the notion of having bifurcated legal and equitable title as exists inherent to virtually any trust structure, just simply, I would go so far as to say, is pretty anathema  or antithetical  to most legal minds of reasoning pursuant to Thai law. So for this reason, the thing to take away from this video is NO!! there are no trusts in Thailand and even inferring things like equity, like having equitable rights in a given asset or land or something like this, that’s making an assumption that’s erroneous frankly and doing so can lead to some serious consequences and can be detrimental. So for that reason,  those who are interested in matters pertaining to trust and asset protection or asset divestment into a trust in Thailand, I would strongly urge those individuals to contact legal professionals such as ourselves or others in the country who are qualified to deal with this because this can lead to some really serious problems because people that don’t understand how this works and make certain assumptions along these lines, can really put themselves in problematic circumstances by not knowing how the legal frameworks in Thailand work and again they could end up just putting themselves in a highly detrimental position.