Estate Administration refers to the process of gathering and managing the estate of a deceased. This includes disbursing any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the heirs. A Last Will and Testament usually determine the heirs of an estate.
When a person dies without a Will, the distribution of the intestate’s assets shall be according to the six classes of statutory heirs in Thailand.
In general, the statutory heirs or the beneficiaries of the Last Will and Testament will not be able to receive or manage any assets without a court order. In Thailand, the authorization from the court is deemed as the final judgment applicable as the confirmation document for estate administration. Whether the deceased had made a Will or not, a petition to the court for the appointment of the estate administrator must first be facilitated.
The statutory heirs or the interested persons are eligible to submit the petition to the court for the appointment of Estate Administrator.
– The heirs can be the beneficiaries by the Will to the statutory heirs. The legal spouse who is still living is a statutory heir.
– The interested person means the person who has the interests related to the inheritance, such as a wife who did not legally register marriage but has acquired assets in the estate together with the deceased.
The Estate Administrator or the Executor of the Will must be of legal age (18 years or older). He or she must not be an insane person or quasi-incompetent person, and not a bankrupt person adjudged by the court.
The requirements in submitting a petition to the court for the appointment of an administrator of the estate are as follows:
1. Documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, house book, identification card. This is to show the relationship between the petitioner and the deceased; proving that they are statutory heirs or the interested person.
2. Death certificate of the deceased
3. Documents relating to the estate such as land title deed, condominium unit ownership certificate, car registration book, bankbook etc.
4. Family tree mapping to show the relation between the deceased and the statutory heirs
5. Consent Letter for Estate Administrator appointment from the statutory heirs (if any)
6. The Last Will and Testament of the deceased (if any)
7. Name-Surname Change Registration Certificate (if any)
The petition for Estate Administration shall be submitted to the court where the deceased resides on the time he/she pass away. On the other hand, if the residence of the deceased is outside Thailand, the petition shall be submitted to the court jurisdiction where the estates are located.
After submitting all the necessary documents, the proceedings usually take up to 2 months for the court to issue the court hearing date. The relevant persons have to be present at the court to testify under oath with all the evidences. If there is no objector to the case within 1 month thereafter, the estate administrator can then ask for copies of the court order including the final case document to administrate the estate of the deceased.