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  1. #1
    Member zipcode's Avatar
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    Land ownership and inheritance

    Apologies if this has already been discussed.

    IIUC, the "normal" method for land ownership is to hold it in name of Thai spouse, with the foreigner "enjoying" tenancy at-will.

    What is the disposition of the land when the Thai spouse dies? Especially if there are no children of record, and no will/testament?

    Will the surviving (foreign) spouse inherit the property? Will it go to the nearest Thai relative? Will it escheat to the government?

    [No, I am not planning some villainous end-run around the law]

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Member zipcode's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thread link.

    I see the disposition for intestate, with spouse (even if Thai) being least heir. Seems inline with many nations that view land as a hereditary/ancestral priviledge.

    Can a Thai spouse bequeath land title to foreign spouse in a will? Or would this be considered an invalid bequest since it is illegal for foreigners to own land?

    Would the Thai courts uphold a lien placed against the land (filed prior to Thai spouse death) by the foreign spouse, so that the land, if inherited by Thai relatives, would either be sold to satisfy the lien, or be held by relatives with the lien still active?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Thailand Expat
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    Yes, under the Land Code a Thai can bequeath land to a foreigner - but it must comply with the limitations and restrictions thereunder.

    here's a little of what I wrote on the topic

    2 Section 93 of the Land Code
    Section 93 of the Land Code permits foreigners to own land in Thailand in the event that they acquire the ownership of such land by virtue of being the lawful heir to an estate. Nevertheless,

    (i) permission from the Minster of Interior to the ownership of the land needs to be sought and obtained
    (ii) the aggregate area of land allowed to be owned cannot exceed that permitted by law; for example, 1 Rai for residential purposes; but it is possible to owner a large area if the land is commercially used, such as a farm – for the exact area currently allowed, reference needs to be made to the regulation issued

    failing which, as is the case under Section 96 bis of the Land Code, you will be required to sell the land within a period of not less than 180 days nor more than 1 year; failing which, the Director-General of the Department of Land has the power to sell the property on your behalf.
    see http://teakdoor.com/doing-things-leg...-thailand.html (So you want to own property in Thailand?)

    The lien question is more compplicated. I have heard people say they have done it, but IME if you are not a registered financial instutition, the Land Department will not allow you to do this.

  5. #5
    Member zipcode's Avatar
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    Thanks for the prompt (and surprisingly relevant --- for an attorney) reply!

    Lien issue aside, would an IOU from thai spouse to foreign spouse be enforceable as a means to "ensure" that some value from the property would pass to the foreign spouse in the case that the property did go to thai relatives?

    I am curious as to how many cases of foreign spouse surviving thai spouse have occured within the last ten years; probably not many given the typical age disparity of such marriages (not that I am criticizing mind you! wouldnt mind trading in the 40-year old for two 20-year olds).

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    An IOU, itself, would not be sufficient as you would need to register the security interest in order to be a secured creditor. With a mere IUO, you would be an unsecured creditor with a claim over the proceeds of the estate, but not any particular asset therein.

  7. #7
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipcode
    I am curious as to how many cases of foreign spouse surviving thai spouse have occured within the last ten years
    I know of one Brit living near me whose thai wife died.
    He remained living in his house that now belonged to his in-laws. After a few years the in-laws decided they wanted some rent.
    We contacted a thai lawyer on his behalf, told him the story, and he went to visit the in-laws. He explained that paying rent would be no problem but the farang's Will would be re-written to exclude them.
    They suddenly changed their minds about the rent.

    When he does snuff it they will get another surprise

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