International buyers can face obstacles when inheriting a Thai condominium. If you plan on leaving your property to a loved one, it is vital you prepare for this by creating a legal document such as a will or intestate succession ahead of time. Doing this will save the inheritor both time and legal complications that may arise during the process.
According to Sections 1599 and 1600 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, when a person dies, his or her estate, including property, shall pass to his or her heirs along with the rights, duties and liabilities the estate brings apart from any which by law or by their nature are purely personal.
This means that if an individual from overseas remitted foreign currency into Thailand, purchased a condominium unit and was a qualified foreign individual under the Condominium Act (Section 19.5), the person’s legal heirs can inherit the deceased individual’s property rights. The person inheriting the estate would possess any and all rights held by the deceased person.
However, the Land Department requires adequate legal proof, such as a will or intestate succession, as well as a death certificate of the deceased former owner, a court order appointing an estate administrator and several documents before approving the registration of an inherited property.
It is important to note that if there is no court order appointing an estate administrator and one is required, the registration of the inherited condominium unit will be subject to a 30-day public notice requirement.
While any inherited condominium unit is not subject to personal income tax or stamp duty tax, the registration of it is subject to a transfer fee and the specific business tax. These must be paid before ownership of the condominium is transferred to the heir.
As for leasehold condos or apartments, the situation is less clear. Inheritance of such properties is not covered by the Condominium Act and will require legal advice as to how best to proceed.