A foreigner who acquires a condominium unit by inheritance, either as a legal heir under a Last Will and Testament or as a statutory heir, shall acquire the property ownership if the condominium unit is within the foreign quota and the foreigner qualifies for ownership. Otherwise, the foreigner must dispose of the unit within 1 year from the date of acquisition. If it is not disposed of within such period of time, the Director-General of Land Department shall have the power to sell the condominium unit on the foreigner’s behalf.
Foreigners cannot own or inherit land in Thailand. Any foreigner who inherits land must dispose of the land within 1 year. If such time period elapses, the Director-General shall have power to dispose of such land.
A major disadvantage of lease in Thailand is that the contract and the right of possession terminates upon death of the lessee and is not automatically transferable by inheritance. Although the lease agreement must include a succession clause, this does not offer full legal guarantee for the lessee’s heirs.
In Thailand, when a person dies without a Last Will and Testament, the distribution of the intestate’s assets is according to the law. According to The Civil and Commercial Code Section 1629, there are six classes of statutory heirs in Thailand. Each class has the entitlement to inherit in the following order:
3. brothers and sisters of full blood
4. brothers and sisters of half blood
5. grandfathers and grandmothers
6. uncles and aunts
The right of a surviving spouse to share in the estate of a deceased spouse arises automatically from marital status. Spouses who are under separation do not lose the right of inheritance to one another unless the court grants the divorce between them. Ordinances awarding such rights on a surviving spouse make the spouse a statutory heir. Before any distribution of the estate to the relatives, half of the estate (community property or in Thai, Sin Somros) will belong to the spouse, if any, and the other half is for distribution accordingly.
The creditors of an estate can claim only out of the property of the estate. The payment of the debts due by the estate shall be in the following order according to the provisions of the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code concerning preferential rights:
1. property other than immovable property
2. immovable properties:
3. any specific property bequeathed under a particular title
Any property appropriations under the foregoing provisions shall undergo selling by way of public auction, but any heir may prevent such sale by paying, to the extent required for the satisfaction of the creditors, the value of the whole or part of the property as may be determined by an appraiser appointed by the Court.
A statutory heir or a legatee under a general title shall not execute legacies under a particular title for more than the amount of the received property.
The administrator is not bound to deliver the estate or any part thereof to the heirs before one year has elapsed from the deceased’s date of death, unless satisfying all the known creditors of the estate and legatees by the performance and distribution.