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ResourcesThailand Real Estate & Property LawTitleCan Foreigners Inherit Real Estate in Thailand?

Can Foreigners Inherit Real Estate in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, we're going to be discussing probate and wills with specific emphasis on foreigners who are seeking inheritance of Thai real estate.

So, let's preface this by stating, and this is gone into at length another of videos on this channel: in the Kingdom of Thailand there are specific restrictions for foreigners which specifically preclude them from being able to own property here in the Kingdom. What are we talking about? Basically, land real estate specifically. Now, it may be possible to own things like structures on land things like condominiums in Thailand under specific instances and it's also possible to obtain things like use of mortgage and long-term leases but specifically land ownership is heavily restricted.

Now, a foreign national could own land in Thailand if it's signed off by the Minister of the Interior and only under a narrow subset of circumstances can that happen so as a practical matter land ownership by foreign national is probably not going to be possible. Which brings us to the topic of this video which is this: what about a situation where you've got a foreign national married to a Thai national, the Thai national let's say it's the Thai wife has owned a house in her name and maybe through usage of various instruments in order to somewhat shore up the foreign nationals legal standing you have a lease back to the foreign national etc. but now this title holder is deceased. And the question becomes can the foreign national spouse inherit in the same manner as I mentioned? Such spouse would be under similar circumstances since the short answer is no. There are rules regarding this. The specifics of which I would leave to my Thai colleagues here at the firm but that being said just sort of an overview as I've discussed it with them and I'm able to provide sort of at least some basic insight into this.

Basically, there's a rule which stipulates from the closing of the probate estate there's a statutorily prescribed period of time I believe it's 90 days in which the foreign national spouse who inherited the property needs to go ahead and sell the property and is compelled to sell the property and thereafter enjoy the benefits of the sale, but cannot own the property as a result of inheritance. It's interesting most folks who have been party to land ownership or let's say purchase of land here in Thailand where the Thai spouse usually female has gone ahead and put land in her name using the funds of a foreign national in most of those cases at the land office the foreign national will be required to sign a document which stipulates that not only are they aware of the purchase but that they forego and understand that they're leaving any rights to inheritance or ownership in the land so it's rather explicit in the Thai language this restriction on foreign ownership but the inheritance is sometimes something of an issue in some cases the courts will be willing to delay the closing the probate so that the foreign spouse can go ahead and find a buyer or can find in some cases a family member to take over legal ownership of the property that's going to be very complicated and I'm not going to go much more deeply into this because again this is really more for the Thai attorneys to discuss. That being said, yeah it's sort of possible to inherit Thai real estate but it's under certain conditions precedent that required and sort of preclude the type of enjoyment that most people associate with normal inheritance.