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Protecting my right to live in our house should my wife die.

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On 3/16/2020 at 7:54 AM, bangkoken said:

A Last Will & Testament clearly stating that you will continue to live in the property until your death or otherwise abandoned the house.

It is a "Life Estate". Very common in LW&T and can withstand the scrutiny of the court and is enforceable in a court of law. Your welcome.

Life Estates are very common in Western countries which recognise the concept of trusts. Thailand is covered by a written Civil and Commercial Code, and generally speaking, does not recognise trusts, so I would be interested to know if you have actual knowledge of this being enforced as a legal right in Thailand. 

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On 3/16/2020 at 12:56 PM, JimGant said:

For sure, no in the US -- Thailand, probably not. Take this case: 'I leave all my money to my son, Jerk, with the proviso that he only spend $10,000 per year.' Unenforceable. So, you leave the money in trust for your son, with a trustee carrying out your request. No can do in Thailand.


Your wife's Will can just leave the house and land to you. You and your wife can discuss who will finally get the property, say, Dang the nephew -- but don't put him in the wife's Will. Instead, discuss with him this plan: Upon the wife's death, you plan to go to the land office with him to re-title the chanote in his name, followed immediately with annotating a lease, or usufruct to the back of the chanote in your name. Result: A Thai, as required, takes possession of the property -- and that Thai is the person your wife wanted to eventually inherit the land. But, by not putting Dang in her Will, if somehow things head south with Dang before you hit the land office, well, just find a better nephew, as Dang has no recourse to the land. And if things head south after Dang takes possession, well, you can still live on the land without fear of eviction, by Dang are any subsequent owner.


Of course, this would be a no rent deal. You could also make it a no cost deal to Dang by paying the annual taxes, etc -- but he should be happy just knowing the land will be his free and clear upon your death -- as the lease dies with you.


Worst case: Dang, upon taking possession of the chanote, runs out the door of the land office laughing hysterically. 🙂

Even in Western countries, making a conditional will is problematic unless all the points are dealt with including the actual inclusion of a draft lease/usufruct (and discretion of the executor to amend mutatis mutanda in the event of legislative etc. changes


Thailand has a simpler legal system (rightly or wrongly) in that stare decisis hardly applies so the application of the written Code is the only thing you can rely on in the absence of a Supreme Court ruling on an issue (which of course is not common)


In simple terms, the suggestion you have made of getting the wife to transfer the land to the husband/partner is the best one and let the husband/partner decide how he wants to deal with the freehold (blue book)




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On 3/15/2020 at 11:22 PM, SAINT THOMAS said:

I have 3 land deeds 1 in Surin and 2 in the village were our house is, my wife has no Thai children from a previous marriage to an American, 2 sons born in america or it would go to the children.


I have a policy at the government office for 200,000 baht think it is in case she died ahead of me in my name. 


I had such problems with my wife family over the years Since 2002, when I went to do a 30 year lease with the Judge in Prasat he instead put me on the back of the Deed to the land and gave a yellow book on the property with the house on it, the other property which I bought last year is right behind the house which I just filled in with dirt, fenced off and planted all fruit trees on about 2 Rai. 


I don't know if I would even have to give or sell the land and house with my name on the back of the deed? I will worry about that when and if the time comes or if she died before me.


I have to much invested in the house and lands in the village to sell it and who would buy it or have the money to buy it anyway 9 - 10 Million Baht? except the Surin land which is located in an area of all apartment buildings that I have 2.2 million baht invested in all paid with cash, so I don't owe anything on any of the properties or house.


My wife is 5 years older then me so I will give it all to someone I trust and that is not many if any and do a 30 year lease at the very same time of transfer, it would also have to be someone I would want the properties and house to go to when I died, that is the most important thing to me, I will hold on to the land deeds so they don't borrow on them also.


Money and Thais is a very dangerous combination.


My buddy did a 30 year lease with his girlfriend who died in an accident a few years ago, he paid cash for the house and cash for a car, the daughter won't give him the car and doesn't want him in the house, so what would someone do then? 

There have been several reported cases of a foreigner buying assets, the wife dying intestate (without making a will) and the family kicking the husband out without compensation. The courts have upheld the entitlement of the foreign husband to having half the value of the property returned to him so the family were ordered to either come up with the funds or have the house sold to compensate him. Obviously, half isn't the true value, but half is better than nothing, but the Courts haven't just written off the foreigner's contribution. Importantly, the foreigners in these cases have been able to prove that the funds came from them (bank receipts etc.) so if you just handed over cash and hoped for the best, you would struggle to prove what the money was used for and/or wasn't a gift.


As he has a lease (presumably registered with the Land Office), then there is nothing legally that the daughter can do to evict him or remove him from the property unless and until the lease comes to an end or the terms of the lease are broken


Regarding the car, it is worthwhile noting that having your name in the blue book is prima facie evidence of being the owner, hence it can be rebutted by evidence e.g. some written agreement that BF would buy the car for GF but that it would continue to belong to BF. Frankly, that's extremely rare, so even if you could prove that you had paid for the car 100% it would be treated as a gift and falling under the estate of the deceased partner. If unmarried and no will, then there is no lawful justification for expecting the deceased partner's daughter to hand back the car. If the person put the vehicle in his Gf's name in the mistaken belief that he couldn't do so himself as a foreigner, then he respectfully only has himself to blame. Equally, it's possible that the car was a gift and your buddy didn't expect the car back. 

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