I have gone through some life changes legally speaking during the last couple of years that are causing me to redo my existing US will and also consider how to approach my Thai assets, which at the point when the previous will was written were not a consideration. I have been speaking with a well respected local attorney who specializes in these matters with regard to Thai assets. I have learned some things from our conversations and respect his opinions, but at the same time we have hit an impasse where we can not continue to work together on this. The basic problem is he operates IMO from a one size fits all model and I take exception with that.
Lets start with what I think I have learned. My intention is to leave my US assets to my blood relatives so that the grand kids can go to decent colleges, if they want to. I want to leave my Thai assets to my life partner here. I do not want to get legally married in Thailand. I am just down on legal arrangements, unless they are very necessary. 😝
. It is best to approach home country (US in my case) and Thailand as two separate wills that do not reference one another.
. The US will in my case is far and away the easier matter. My US assets at this time are all financial with named beneficiaries at the institute that holds these assets in my name. This exempts my beneficiaries from probate processes. I still need a will in order to negate the previous one and also to name the estate executor. Should cost about $350 US for the will.
. Thailand is more complicated. My Thai assets are also only financial. I have put all other assets in my partner's name so she has a clear path to these. The purpose of a Thai will is to name her as the beneficiary and also the executor of my Thai assets. Unfortunately, there is no direct way to avoid the probate process in Thailand. Also the probate process takes several months (best case) and requires multiple court interactions by the executor. She will need legal support for the probate process and that starts getting expensive (maybe 100,000 soup to nuts given what I want in place).
. My understanding is that the probate process will go better if there is a Thai will in place. The basic will has been estimated at 6000.
. I have other matters that I would like to address. If I still have a heart beat, but no ability to respond to the world around me, I would like to have a DNR in place. I have also heard that having a body released to a non-family member can be problematic. I am not really looking for an elaborate departure from this world. Cremate the body and toss the ashes into the Ocean would be better than ok with me.
Sorry if some find this morbid, but I have been burned by family members not having things like this in place and I have sworn I would not do the same.
Comments and corrections are welcome.