Probate Application is a request filed into the court to appoint someone to be the manager of the deceased person’s estate.
In some country Probate Application is also called Administrative Application.
The manager of the estate is referred to as “Executor of the Estate” in Thailand. This is regardless whether the deceased person left a Last Will and Testament or died Intestate.
Most likely, we need to file the probate application in Thailand when the deceased person owns an immoveable property, cash deposit in bank, car or other assets that is registered with the government authority.
This is because we need the Probate Order from the court to show the government authorities for the transfer of estate.
Even if you have Last Will and Testament, you still need the probate order to receive your inheritance from the deceased person’s estate.
Moreover, we will explain to you how to transfer the inheritance to the heiress after the probate order has been granted.
This article is written by a lawyer who have 17 years of experience assisting foreigners in Thailand, we will try to simplify all information to let everyone have a better grasp and understanding on this topic.
In case you have read the whole content and still have concerns with some information, you can press the WhatsApp Icon at your right-hand side to consult with our lawyer as well.
If your case involves the deceased leaving a Will and Testament, we suggest you to read this article to make sure that the Will and Testament is enforceable: Wills and Testament Thailand.
Things to consider that you may need to file the Probate Application in Thailand
As an heir of a deceased person you may wonder whether you need to file a probate application in Thailand or not.
First, you need to check whether the deceased person has an estate in Thailand or not.
Second, you need to identify what type of estate does the deceased have in Thailand.
If the estate are just moveable assets such as gold, jewelry or other valuable things, you can just divide it among the heirs without applying for a probate order. This is of course possible if there are no disputes between the heirs.
But if the estate have a registration document with the government authority or it in the procession of a third party, you must apply for a probate order to support for the inheritance process.
Lastly, the estates that are usually required to be applied for a probate order in Thailand in order to be divided or given to the heirs are the following:
- Land, House and Condominium
- Cash Deposit in Bank
- Investment in the Stock Market
- Mutual Fund, Provident Fund and Retirement Plan
- Boat (or any watercraft)
- Valuable things that is kept in a safety deposit box of a bank
- Share in a Company Limited
For the estate as listed above, you still need to apply a probate order in Thailand even if you have acquired probate order from oversea.
This is because the government authority of Thailand will follow an order issued by a Thai Court only.
Once you have considered that you need to obtain a Probate Order in Thailand, the next thing you need to know is who have the right to file the Probate Application in Thailand.
Let’s find out on the next clause.
The person who is eligible to file a Probate Application in Thailand
The person who have right to file a Probate Application in Thailand are the following:
- Statutory heir; or
- The Will and Testament’s Beneficiary; or
- The Appointed Executor on the Will and Testament.
This is because the abovementioned persons are considered stakeholders of the estate of the deceased.
Please note that the person who is an “Executor” on the probate application can be anyone as long as all of the heirs consent that person to be the Executor or is appointed by the Deceased through the Will and Testament. In case the heirs are not in Thailand they can appoint their relative or lawyer currently in Thailand to be the Executor.
After determining who are eligible for filing the probate application, the next thing you need to know are the documents you need to prepare for filing the case in Thailand.
Checklist of the documents required for filing a Probate or Administrative Application in Thailand.
In order to file a Probate or Administrative Application in Thailand, you need to prepare the following documents and follow the checklist below:
- Passport of the Deceased Person
- Death Certificate of the Deceased Person
- Marriage Certificate (in case the Deceased person is married)
- Birth Certificate of the children of the Deceased (if any)
- List of the estate with the copy of its registration document
- Passport of the all heirs (including those who have passed away before the Deceased person)
- Passport of the Will’s beneficiary (if any)
- Passport of the person who will be the Executor
- Consent Letter from all heirs appointing the Executor (to appoint Executor)
- Wills and Testament (if any)
- Relative/Family Tree
Please do note that all document must be in Thai or translate to Thai language.
If the document was issued overseas or the Deceased person passed away overseas, all documents must be certified and legalized by the Thai Embassy or Thai Consulate of that country.
Once you prepare the above document already, you can pass it to the lawyer. Then the lawyer will start the case of Probate or Administrative Application as explained on the next step.
The Process of filing a Probate Application in the Thai Court.
Under Thai Law, you need to file a Probate Application to the Thai Court in order to get Probate order. You cannot apply this order from a Notary Public or other government agency.
Here are the steps and information for filing the case.
Step 1: Preparation of the application by a licensed Thai lawyer
The person who can prepare the application must be a licensed lawyer who is accredited by the Lawyer Council Association Thailand
First of all, the lawyer needs to check and review if the Deceased Person left a Will and Testament. If they have a Will, the lawyer needs to prepare the application with the detail of how the deceased person would like to divide the estate and follow the instruction of appointing his or her appointed Executor.
If there is no Will, the lawyer must prepare an application following the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand.
The lawyer needs to describe who are the heirs, the Will’s beneficiary, and the Executor of the estate with supporting document for the claim.
All document must be in Thai Language or translated into Thai and certified by a translator.
Step 2: Filing an application to the Court
In Thailand, we have many courts. But the court that the lawyer needs to file the case is the court where the deceased person is currently domiciled or was previously domiciled or the court where the estate is existing.
On the time of filing, the court clerk with check all documents again to make sure that the court has legal authority to accept the case.
Beside of that the court officer will verify the correctness and/or complete set of documents before passing it to the judge.
Once the documents are in order, the lawyer need to pay a court fee of 500THB.
After filing the case and submitting the case, after 1 – 2 working days, the lawyer needs to follow up the case from the judge whether the “order of acceptance of the case” has been issued.
If the judge accepted the case and all documents, we can move forward for the examination process.
If the judge did not accept the case, we need to adjust or provide additional documents following the judge’s instruction. Then follow up the order again.
Step 3: Prepare testimonial for Examination
Before the examination date, the lawyer needs to prepare the testimonial or testimony in paper first. Because sometimes the court prefers the lawyers to submit it in printed copies and you have to make sworn statement to certified the correctness of such testimonial.
This method will allow the court to finish the examination early instead of doing oral examination and the court needs to take note of everything the lawyers will say.
The lawyer needs to prepare testimonial in Thai following the court’s format. And also translate it into English for the Executor’s understanding and confirm the correctness of the translation.
This testimonial needs to be submitted at least 7 days prior to the court examination date.
Step 4: Attend the court for the Examination.
Even if the lawyer has already submitted the testimonials as mentioned on Step 3, the Executor needs to come to the court for his/her sworn statement and to confirm the correctness of the testimonial of the probate application.
The court will usually ask the name, age, occupation, and address of the Executor.
If the court is satisfied with the person’s statement and proven that person is the application, the court will ask them to confirm regarding being the Executor.
Finally, the Executor, interpreter, and lawyer will be asked to sign the court report for the said court examination.
Step 5: Wait and get the final Decree.
After finishing the examination as mentioned on Step 4, the court will issue the Probate order to appoint Executor on the same day.
However, as stipulated by the law you need to wait for next 30 days to get final Decree.
This is because if you just use the probate order, it will not be sufficient to be used and presented to the relevant government authority. Please take note that the Final Decree and the Probate Order are different documents.
After completing the 30-day waiting period, the lawyer can go to the court to get the official probate order and Final Decree at the same time.
And this ends our explanation regarding the Probate Application Process. We will now explain the information of inheritance process.
*Please wait and come back to check the information of inheritance again that is now under writing.
Timeframe for Probate process in Thailand
The Probate process in Thailand is not complicated, but it takes quite some time due to the availability of the court’s schedule.
If we need to file the case in Bangkok, the process may take around 5 months.
But if we file in other province, the process may take around 3 months.
*The above timeframe is computed from the date when we accepted the case until we finally obtain the final Decree.
Probate or Administrative Application Service
Our law firm has practiced law and provided legal service to serve the demand of foreign customers for many years. One of the legal services that we provide is Probate or Administrative Application Service.
We have vast experience regarding this service and we have handled clients from various countries and applied Probate Application in almost every province across Thailand.
In case you cannot travel to Thailand due to Covid’s restriction or by other reason, you can appoint us thought a Power of Attorney or Appointing Lawyer form to act on your behalf.
We can also become the Executor and get the estate to transfer them to you as well. Like money in bank, gold, jewelry etc.
For the Immoveable property like house, condominium etc., we can assist to transfer it into the name of the heir or sell it and transfer the fund back to the heir.
In short, we can be a one stop/centralize firm who will handle the Probate and Inheritance process for you.
The process for filing Probate Application or Administrative Application in Thailand requires a licensed lawyer to handle the case because the application need to be applied at the Court.
It is better for you to have an experienced Lawyer who can speak English well (and not just the coordinator or its staff).
This is highly suggested so you can address your specific concern or demands to the lawyer directly and the lawyer can reply directly to you as well to complete understand your instructions or concerns and for clear communication.
Then, the lawyer can file the Probate Application in the Thai Court for you.
The Probate process in Thailand is not complicated, but it take some time due to the availability of the court schedule.
In case you require assistance for your Probate Application, we at Siam Attorney can definitely assist you until you successfully claim the inheritance from your deceased loved ones.
If you need to discuss this matter in detail, we can have a VDO conference via ZOOM Meeting or talk to us via WhatsApp which is available on your right-hand side.