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  1. #1
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    Default Property Inheritance

    I have no idea if this is the correct forum to post.

    My Thai mother owned a condo in Bangkok and she recently passed away. In her will she left the property to me. I am however a British citizen and I don't own a Thai passport and citizenship. Though having researched online I am considered a foreigner, I read information on the legal aspect of foreigners owning property in Thailand and it seems that it is a difficult process to acquire.

    My question is this...Is it possible for a child of a different nationality from Thai parents to inherit land or property in Thailand?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    Unless you get your Thai citizenship, you will be treated as a foreigner with all the rules, regulations and restrictions applied.
    You are however, able to own the condo but not the land it sits on. You should be able to sell it and thats what my advice would be. Get a Thai lawyer to convey. A good honest one if there is such a thing.

    So to answer your question, yes you can inherit the property. Is it any good to you is another matter.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  3. #3
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    Not 100% correct. You can own the condo but only if the total foreign ownership of all the condos in that building is 49% or less.

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    Thanks for the reply. My sister has a Thai passport, my mother never wanted me to get a Thai passport because she thinks I would be called out to train in the army.

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    Hi Davy

    Just to clarify, were you born in Thailand or the UK?
    Paul พอล
    กำขี้ดีกว่ากำตด

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    I was born in UK to Thai and British parents.

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    This will be too vague to be of much use but, without Thai citizenship, I think you will have 12 months to sell the property, or transfer ownership. Might it be possible to make some arrangement with your sister?
    Gordie T Geordie

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    You still need to check out the % of foreign ownership in the building.

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    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    Gordon is correct. Irrespective of the 49%.
    You can inherit but unless you qualify under the other restrictions (which you dont on the face of it) must sell within 12 months of the registered inheritance.

    How long have you had/ acquired the property through inheritance? Have you submitted your 'claim' of ownership?

    I am not a great believer in the the morals of Thai solicitors but in this case I would strongly advise you seek some or you may well end up loosing it. I take it your sister is resident in the UK and would find the whole thing as confusing as it is.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  10. #10
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    Why would he have to sell a property that he is entitled to own? If a foreigner is eligible to own under the 49% rule, what possible reason is there for him having to sell the property?

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    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    The 49% rule will apply if he wants to continue owning (being a foreigner)

    His question was can he inherit. So the simple answer is yes but unless he becomes a 'Thai' he has 12 months to dispose of it.
    If he has no intention of keeping it (if allowed under the current rules) he has to sell/ transfer it to an eligible person/ entity or face the real possibility of it being swallowed by the 'state'.

    As for becoming a Thai citizen and his mothers worry about conscription, I believe he may have options depending on his age etc. Either way the timeline is running out regarding the 12 month rule. It cannot be extended and he is already some way in to the 12 months.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

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    It may be Thailand and yes, crazy things happen but I very much doubt they would let him inherit the property then force him to sell it to an 'eligible person' when he is eligible himself. I have not studied the rules on inheritance but maybe they don't cover this possibility? That is not to say that common sense would prevail - even in Thailand. I would be gobsmacked if the only way he can own it is to sell it and then buy it back.

    The inheritance is a transfer and the person it would be being transferred to would be an 'eligible person'. I really don't see why, as an eligible person, the property cannot stay with him once inherited without any further transfers.

    A decent Thai lawyer would answer this - I'm seeing mine in a couple of weeks I'll try to remember to ask him about this but Davy, don't rely on that, you need to take good legal advice. I'm confident that you can own the property providing the 49% rule is met.

  13. #13
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ prikphet's Avatar
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    Could you not work a deal with your sister if she is a thai passport holder? That would cut some corners ?

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    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    Davy, the question is then;
    a) Does the building fall under the 49% rule?
    If yes, then you can inherit and keep. Remember, you will inherit all the 'good and bad' (whatever that is) along with this. Things like ongoing utilities and factor/maintenance issues. Mortgages and loans set against it (if any).
    b) If it is out with the 49% rule, you can still inherit but would HAVE to sell before 12 months.
    Indecently the law dictates you have to sell not transfer, a big difference. Albeit a token 'sell' and it would incur fees etc.

    My advice still is contact a solicitor. I dont recomend or promote this company but you can email them the question;

    www.sunbeltlegaladvisors.com
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  15. #15
    Member สมาชิก Martin & Jin's Avatar
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    Taken from this website http://www.samuiforsale.com/knowledg...hailand.html#2 , 7th. section down :-

    Condominium ownership transfer and inheritance
    A foreigner who acquires a condominium unit by inheritance, either as statutory heir or inheritor under will, shall acquire ownership, however, unless the foreigner qualifies for ownership under Section 19 Condominium Act', it is required by law that the foreigner shall dispose of the unit within 1 year from the date of acquisition.

    Check-out all the links within that section

    Note that it says " ... dispose of the unit ... " and not " ... sell ... " which means that a deal with your Thai-citizen sister would seem to be acceptable.

    BTW, that's a useful reference for anybody that might stand to inherit in Thailand. For example, in the absence of a will, those of us that are married to a Thai can inherit a portion of the estate - see Distribution in the absence of a will. Of course, a will takes precedence.

    e.g. If a wife dies leaving a husband & 2 children (whether his or his step-children), the estate is divided equally between all 3. Any land ownership, though, is still subject to disposal within 1 year.

    Maybe that's when the problems start!!

  16. #16
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    Sell, dispose of...............

    Actually this is where is gets rather murky.
    The inheritance laws are slightly diffrenent between a Thai benoificary and a Forgien benificery. I am looking to find the exact wording in English but basicly it has to be a transaction. It can be a 'token' transaction but nonetheless a transaction that in turn means sale.
    It is for the paperwork to have a clean unclumbered heading.

    Here is the full extract;
    Condominium ownership transfer and inheritance

    A foreigner who acquires a condominium unit by inheritance, either as statutory heir or inheritor under will, shall acquire ownership, however, unless the foreigner qualifies for ownership under Section 19 Condominium Act, it is required by law that the foreigner shall dispose of the unit within 1 year from the date of acquisition. The Condominium Act divides foreign heirs in eligible foreigners (19 section 19/ 5) and ineligible foreigners (section 19/ 7). Section 19 Septem (7) Condominium Act: "An alien or a juristic person which the law treats as an alien (foreign), except one prescribed under section 19, which has acquired a condominium unit through inheritance as legitimate heir or legatee of a will or through any other means, as the case may be, shall give written notice to the competent official within sixty days from the date of ownership of the condominium unit and shall dispose of that unit within a period of not more than one year from the date of acquiring possession of the unit. If it is not disposed of within such period of time, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis". If the foreigner does not qualify for ownership under the Condominium Act (the vast majority) he must dispose of the unit within 1 year. If the foreigner fails to do so, the Director-General of Land Department shall have the power to sell the condominium unit on the foreigner's behalf (condo inheritance section 19 of the Condominium Act)

    In the sub paragraphs, there is mention of lease rights. For example, you buy/ own the condo but the land is leased. (all above board) but the lease part of owning the condo ends on the death or bankruptcy of the person holding or part of the lease.

    Certainly, I would agree to come to an arrangement with the sister if at all possible. You do not mention when your mum passed away but you only have 60 days to register the inheritance whatever you choose.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin & Jin View Post
    Taken from this website http://www.samuiforsale.com/knowledg...hailand.html#2 , 7th. section down :-

    Condominium ownership transfer and inheritance
    A foreigner who acquires a condominium unit by inheritance, either as statutory heir or inheritor under will, shall acquire ownership, however, unless the foreigner qualifies for ownership under Section 19 Condominium Act', it is required by law that the foreigner shall dispose of the unit within 1 year from the date of acquisition.

    Check-out all the links within that section
    I have just checked out the links and its as clear as mud to me but.......note 'unless the foreigner qualifies for ownership under section 19 of the condominium act.

    Section 19/3 of the act outlines the most common route used by foreigners to 'own' a condo.................basically bringing foreign currency in to pay for it,

    (5) For juristic persons stipulated in Section 19 (5), they shall produce evidence of bringing in foreign currency into the Kingdom or evidence of withdrawal of money from Thai Baht account of the person who have residence outside the Kingdom or withdrawal of money from foreign currency account in the amount of not less than the price of the apartment to be purchased.

    But we know that in any case the above is subject to total foreign ownership of no more than 49% within that building. So, taking it that the above establishes the right of a foreigner to own a condo we then have to consider this particular case - i.e. inheritance because in this case, the OP will not have brought any foreign currency in to pay for the condo. But the above section of the act is considering persons under section 19/5 and 19/5, 1 is applicable.

    'Section 19/5 (quinque) The alien or juristic person as provided in Section 19 shall dispose of apartment in the following cases:



    1. When the alien or juristic person stipulated in Section 19 have acquired apartments by legacy in the capacity of statutory heir or inheritor under will or by other means as the case may be, and when include the apartment already held by such aliens or juristic persons stipulated in Section 19 exceeding the ratio prescribed in the first paragraph of Section 19 bis or not being in accordance with the second paragraph or the third paragraph of Section 19 bis;'


    Now, my understanding of the above is that a foreigner being left the property in a will is only required to dispose of it if his ownership takes the total foreign ownership over the 49% limit. This is further strengthened by the little addendum at the end of that list that states:

    'For the case of (1), only the apartments exceeding the designated proportion shall be disposed; for the case of (2), (3), (4) and (5), all the apartments owned shall be disposed.'

    (1) clearly means 19/5,1 so, although its as clear as mud, I think that the OP will find that providing his ownership does not take the total foreign ownership over the 49% limit, the property can be left to him - and this, despite the fact that he has not brought foreign currency in to buy it.

    It could be a bad translation or it could be simply 'Thainess' but to me, although it does not say as much, section 19/5, 1 shows the route that may be taken when no cash is brought in - i.e acquisition through inheritance. Otherwise why is section 19/5,1 even there?

    As many have suggested, a Thai lawyer will advise but I am confident that he can own the condo if the 49% rule is not exceeded.



    I note the OP has been very quiet throughout.
    Last edited by Flip; 6th Oct 2015 at 20:52.

  18. #18
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    OP being quite throughout...................maybe he is more confused than when he started.

    Seems I am the only one assuming his mum was in a complex that had 0% foreigners. Why is it we always assume when the word condo is mentioned, we think farlang having something to do with it.
    You can still wander up suki in to the nether reaches and there are condos abound with not a foreigner in sight.
    I suppose we dont have enough info to get to the bottom of the scenario but it still sends warning signs to me about how one sided property ownership is concerned.

    A few questions I would like to ask but feel it would be rude and insensitive.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  19. #19
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    The OP absolutely must see a Thai lawyer on this. I've just revisited section 19/5, 1 and reading it again, it could be that the rights given in it only apply if the condo is already in foreign ownership. I'm not sure why that would matter but that is one way of reading it.

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