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  1. #1
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    "Life interest" in legal terms

    My daughter works for the Public Trust in Brisbane. She recently spoke to me about the legal term "life interest" when I told her that I want a caveat in my will that makes my NZ and Australian assets hers and her brother's, but that I want my (Thai) wife to receive rental for a period of years before they (the kids) can sell or take over.
    She said that the caveat is called "life interest". Sounds reasonable.
    It occurred to me that this legal technicality could work well for farang in Thailand that fear their wife might predecease them.
    Scenario: I by some land and a house in Thailand with 51% (or all if you are like me and trust your wife) belonging to the Thai. She makes a will that gives you a life interest in the property but ownership is in her other heir's name. So, upon her untimely death, her assets are bequeathed to other Thais, but with life interest to you (and your heirs maybe). Thus, Thai property laws are maintained in that 51% remains in Thai name, but you (and your heirs, perhaps) still get to use the property. Perhaps at a peppercorn rent.

    Is this feasible? Is there a "life interest" type of scenario in Thai law? Would it work to protect your investment/interest in Thai property?

    eg, her will could say something like, "I leave my 51% share of the house to my nephew, BUT he can not take possession for xx years, and my husband will live there as he pleases, and pay my nephew 10 000 baht per year as rent."

    Has this been done? Can it be done?

    I ask this under the impression that if a farang and his wife bought a property 49-51 % ownership, if the Thai dies before the farang, he has a year to sell his 49% even if his wife bequeathed everything to him because he can not own more than 49% of a property.
    "Life interest" could be a solution.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    You really need to sit down with a Family Lawyer mate and get the proper answer.

    Spend a few buks to get the correct info.

    Good luck with it.

  3. #3
    Pedantic bastard
    nidhogg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    "Life interest" could be a solution.
    Probably. But there are many, many, many stories about farangs who hold all the correct paperwork, and still get everything stolen from under them.

    Yes, in some cases you can get it back, but it take years of effort through the courts to get any serious redress.

  4. #4
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    Your wife should grant to you in her will 'right of habitation' different from a lease and is gratuitous.

    Section 1402-9 of Thailand civil and Commercial Law.

  5. #5
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    I appreciate the cynicism, really I do, but what I was tabling here was the notion, the idea.
    It's more a question of "Is there a "life interest" type clause in Thai law?", because (Thai legal shenanigans aside), the clause could suit a few farang.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123 View Post
    Your wife should grant to you in her will 'right of habitation' different from a lease and is gratuitous.

    Section 1402-9 of Thailand civil and Commercial Law.
    Ahhh! That's interesting. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Neverna's Avatar
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    Would a usufruct achieve the same thing?

  8. #8
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    Usufructs can be rescinded, more rules to observe between related parties.
    30 year max - timing is all important in setting up.

    Rights of habitation legally involves no dodgy rent set up and can be for the lifetime of the grantee - no rights of inheritance come with this. When Grantee dies it passes back to owner.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123 View Post
    Usufructs can be rescinded, more rules to observe between related parties.
    30 year max - timing is all important in setting up.

    Rights of habitation legally involves no dodgy rent set up and can be for the lifetime of the grantee - no rights of inheritance come with this. When Grantee dies it passes back to owner.

    .........

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123 View Post
    Usufructs can be rescinded, more rules to observe between related parties.
    30 year max - timing is all important in setting up.

    Rights of habitation legally involves no dodgy rent set up and can be for the lifetime of the grantee - no rights of inheritance come with this. When Grantee dies it passes back to owner.
    That's interesting too, thanks.
    "Life interest" in an Ausie legal sense, could be bequeathed to heirs because the "interest" is for a set number of years and is in it's own right an asset.
    And that is what I want to clarify in the Thailand case.
    I also want to see if this twist to looking at ownership/possession is viable for Thai-resident farang.


    I have, since posting, seen William's sub-forum, and i apologise for not posting there. Whatever...the thread is getting good responses.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat

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    Right to live in a "hostile environment"...That sounds like fun...

  12. #12
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    I hafta agree with BaitongBoy. Why would you want to live surrounded by the thai in-lawz & out-lawz after the demise of your wife?
    If I was a betting man, I'd say believe Iceman123 and their advice.

  13. #13
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    The trick is to be worth more to them Alive than dead, keeps em on there toes.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post

    I hafta agree with BaitongBoy. Why would you want to live surrounded by the thai in-lawz & out-lawz after the demise of your wife?

    Yes Of course,

    Add into that the loose legal laws regarding farang rights and one is much better off factoring in that spent money is lost money.

    No problems then, just pay up front and move on.

    All's good.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat

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    I understand the cynicism. I'm not that jaded yet, and don't envisage it either.

  16. #16
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    Not being cynical, really...I don't expect any "rights," at all...Just show me the same respect I show you, regardless of anything else...

    Now where's the nearest all-you-can-eat buffet?...The Chinese have taught me how to scoop the food more efficiently...Heh...

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