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BANGKOK 21 January 2019 00:45
houstoniron

Condo and Transfer to Thai Wife on my Death

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I am doing some estate planning and came upon an issue I need some advice on.

I own a 2-bedroom condo in Pattaya. No loans are outstanding. The condo is purchased in my name (Foreigner) and my name is listed as the Owner on the Chanote.

When I go to meet my maker, I want to leave everything I own in Thailand to my family. My wife is Thai.

I don’t think she can transfer the condo to her name because the Foreigner / Thai quota is already met.

 

Can anyone advise the options I have with this condo?

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Forgive me if I am wrong but it's only the foreigner quota that is restricted in condo ownership (49% max foreigner). There is no limit as to how many units can be owned by Thais.

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In the regular way, after both   your death and probate –then the condo will end up in a Thai name.

If the widow intends to live in the condo and then bequeath it to her offspring –then all is fine.

However typically that does not happen.

The widow typically wishes to go ‘back home’ .

In these circumstances the condo needs to be sold.

From a Farang buyer’s position a condo in a Thai name is not attractive.

Work around

Ensure that your wife is both beneficiary and administrator. This to be detailed in your will.

When probate is complete the condo will be controlled by the   administrator.

As administrator she must leave it that way until a suitable buyer can be found.

The new buyer will of course need to provide the FET.

The land office will transfer the condo to the new buyer. It will remain in the foreign allocation during the entire process.

 

In my view this is the best option.

Other options :

 

a)Sell the condo and move into rented accommodation

b) Sell the condo and rent it back from the new owner

 

Clearly these are not attractive.

 

I am  in exactly the same circumstances as you.

 

One provision that I have taken is to open a bank  account in joint names .

 Your widow can access this account whether you are dead or alive.  Your regular accounts can only be accessed beyond probate

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No problem for your wife to have the condo transferred into her name. There is no restriction on the quantity of condos a Thai citizen can hold.

 

The non-Thai quota of 49 per cent ownership per condo block only becomes an issue if the entire 49 per cent of the foreign quota is used and there is no quota left for a potential non-Thai buyer.

 

This situation can arise, but it is quite rare. I've never yet come across an entirely full quota, not least because some foreign owners are persuaded to buy in a company name.

 

You can always ask in your management office what the ratio of Thai to non-Thai ownership is. The Juristic Person must know the figure exactly as they have to prepare quota letters for the Land Department.

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I think many people will face this situation over the next 10-20 years. Personally i would either :-

 

a) Sell the condo before death, move into rented accommodation and give the wife the money before i die.

b) Transfer the condo into my wife's name before i die, assuming she wanted to stay there. There are no restrictions on such transfers.

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On 1/6/2019 at 2:13 PM, blackcab said:

The non-Thai quota of 49 per cent ownership per condo block only becomes an issue if the entire 49 per cent of the foreign quota is used and there is no quota left for a potential non-Thai buyer.

 

This situation can arise, but it is quite rare. I've never yet come across an entirely full quota, not least because some foreign owners are persuaded to buy in a company name. 

Many buildings in Pattaya have the full farang quota plus a whole load of company-owned units. My own building is an example.

Only buildings that are unpopular with farangs would not have the full farang quota taken up here, and those tend to be the really run-down or shoddy or out-of-town ones.

Edited by KittenKong
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@KittenKong That's really interesting. I work in Bangkok and it's unheard of here. A condo building I was in recently had about 10 per cent foreign ownership, and it's a very nice building indeed.

 

Thank you for pointing out the Pattaya perspective.

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5 minutes ago, blackcab said:

That's really interesting. I work in Bangkok and it's unheard of here. A condo building I was in recently had about 10 per cent foreign ownership, and it's a very nice building indeed.

Yes, Bangkok is very different. I remember the odd looks I got when I asked about the farang ratio in buildings there, yet in Pattaya it is often the first question one asks. It is quite common to see "foreign name still available" used on advertising banners here on new builds that aren't selling too well.

 

I think the main reason is that lots of Thais want to buy condos in Bangkok to live in, and Thais generally dont do that here as village houses are available within a very short drive for the same price or less. But there is a significant demand from out of town Thais for the very small "hotel room" type cheap condo unit, which presumably they use at weekends etc.

 

Most farangs here seem to be interested in the middle range of property values, and so the situation is different for the very top end and the very bottom end.

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