We focus on writing a Will and why a ‘Usufruct’ or ‘Right of Habitat’ could help with succession issues.
By James Fraser
“Our lives are all hanging on pieces of string that could snap at any time” Woody Allen.
A SPECIAL DISCOUNT for the Thai Will
As we did during the first wave of the Covid pandemic more than a year ago, MBMG Corporate Solution’s legal team is offering to write your ‘Will and Last Words’ for just THB 10,000 during this 3rd wave (for an uncomplicated will and this is 50% discount from our listed price). Anyone with assets in Thailand should consider the need for a will in respect of those assets, even if they already have a will or wills in another jurisdiction. Following last year’s ‘Will & last Words’ offer we also noted that there are clients who have properties that they’d like to leave to a wife or one of their children, but also want other siblings, relatives or even the lifelong maid to be able to still access and use the property until they no longer need it – in Thailand, this outcome is very plausible with the Usufruct or Right of Habitat laws which both can allow for up to a lifetime usage of a property.
For the will, we can complete this based on you filling in a questionnaire for us so that you don’t need to leave your home! Another benefit is that we can securely maintain your will within the walls of our legal department for as long as MBMG can do, and should you pass away then provide it to the person that you’d like to nominate as your executor. There is no extra charge for this safekeeping of your will and the MBMG Group has been in Bangkok for 25 years and has no plans to leave. You can also update your will from time to time and if the changes are minor then there is no extra cost.
To all those who have assets in Thailand and don’t have a Thai will then please take advantage of our offer for your own peace of mind. If you don’t have an obvious successor then people close to you may not benefit from your assets and the process to claim could prove a headache at best and impossible at worst for overseas family heirs. If you don’t have successors at this time, then there are other good causes that would be highly appreciative of your support.
What is a Usufruct and how can this help with succession?
This is a Thai legal document that is available from the Land Department and will allow a person the lifetime right of use of land and property (the word usufruct is derived from a Greek concept of having the right of collecting fruit from a piece of land). A Usufruct can be a useful tool for helping to deal with succession as you may wish to leave a condominium or house to a spouse, but you also need a space for the child (the child might be from a previous marriage for instance), and this right would mean that if your spouse sold the property then the child would continue to have the right to access and live there (making a sale unlikely). A Usufruct can also be granted if a foreigner has married a Thai person and the Thai wife bought the house under her name, and when they have declared their marriage to the land department at the time that the property was purchased.
What is a Right of Habitat?
A Right of Habitat is similar to a Usufruct but can be for up to 30 years or a lifetime. Commercial activities on a property can be conducted with a Usufruct and the land belonging to the property can also be developed but a Right of Habitat doesn’t allow for either commercial activities or the right to live on or develop the surrounding land – it is purely the right to live in the registered building. A Right of Habitat is normally required if a Thai spouse purchased a property without declaring a marriage to the land department, or if the Right is being assigned to a person is of a young age, then for practical reasons you may wish to limit the right to live in your property to no more than 30 years.
MBMG provides services for helping to obtain either a Usufruct or Right of Habitat at very competitive prices. Some of the procedures vary depending on where the land department is located.
Immovable Asset Lease
We can also arrange for the right to an immovable asset or which is better known as a property lease agreement which can be for up to 30 years. There is new and interesting legislation that was passed in 2019 concerning this and which provides for a far more secure lease for a foreign national than did the conventional land and property lease. Please contact us for further details.