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Funeral preparations

Funeral preparationsAt this point, I do not want to bore you with an essay on legal matters, but give you some food for thought and point out a few things which are often overlooked.

It might sound a bit grim to make thoughts about your own death when you are still alive, which (hopefully) lies in the far distance, but it does make sense. In the interests of your loved ones, you should have already made plans while you are alive.

This does of course apply to both persons in a partnership.

In relation to this subject, you will probably first make some thoughts about writing a will. This is one of the most important points. You should make thoughts about complying with the correct form, so that your will does not become attestable. Even simple mistakes such as writing a will with the PC or with a typewriter make it invalid.

Even the storage location of a will can have a special meaning. If it cannot be found in a serious situation or if it is maliciously embezzled, it has quickly lost its usefulness. For this reason, you should inform your partner about the whereabouts of any relevant documents in the event of your death. To avoid fraudulent use of your will, there is the possibility of storing it in the embassy of your homeland.

It should be accurately entered into the will, exactly how your assets are to be distributed. Clear information which cannot be misunderstood might help avoid any disputes amongst the heirs at a later date.

With a so-called “living will” patients can determine to which extent life saving measures will be taken in case of emergency. In early 2007 this also became legally regulated in Thailand. Formal regulatory statutes were not known before August 2007. For this reason it would make sense to discuss this subject with a solicitor when making a will to receive any legal advice involved.

Additionally, I consider it to be advisable to state exactly what should happen with your own corpse. Otherwise your coffin might be taken back to your homeland to be buried against your wishes and at great expense.

A list of instructions in the case of your death along with important contact addresses should be placed together with your will. In this list, you should state everything which must be cancelled e.g. insurance, newspaper subscriptions, mobile phone contract, internet provider etc.

Life insurance or burial funds, which pay out a lump sum on your death, must obviously be informed. These types of policy belong to the documents which should be kept together with your will.

The address of the pension funds company or pension office should be provided for any entitlements which your heirs may have.

You could possibly fill out the form as a matter of prudence. This would definitely ease things if anything should happen to you.

It is recommended that you translate any requirements and your will into Thai. For the formalities with the authorities in your previous homeland, the embassy, for insurances and particularly for your pension, a friend who can really be trusted would be a real help for the loved ones you leave behind. You should really discuss this subject with a trusted friend and with your partner.

The German authorities and insurance companies are very exact in their working methods and do not allow any leeway.

When documents are issued in Thailand, attention is not always paid to the exact spelling of names. Names are often written completely haphazard. In personal documents and other papers, the spelling of the name can often vary. You should make sure that your name is always spelt in the same way as on your marriage certificate, especially in your passport and ID card. If you notice any mistakes, you can have them changed. Only the marriage certificate cannot be altered later.

In other cases, the partner might have forgotten to change the spelling of her name after a marriage. At this point, I should point out that Thai women are not obliged to take their partner's name and can carry on using their maiden name. Despite this, she is obliged to change her status to "married" in all documents.

You should also check data thoroughly. Mistakes can keep in when the Thai date is translated into the Christian calendar date. A simple calculation error or an incorrectly written name can lead to big problems with the authorities or insurance companies in the homeland.

Please do not forget to ensure your own future when ensuring the future of your loved ones. It is not possible to predict whether you will outlive your partner or not. Does the house belong to your partner? Clear up such questions beforehand. In the worst case you might have clear out of a house which you have also financed and hand it over to the heirs. Do you want to share the contents of your joint bank account with the heirs?

As the job of notary does not exist in Thailand, the solicitors take over their responsibilities. Therefore it might make sense for your Thai partner to make out a will with a solicitor to your benefit.

I wish you and your partner a long and happy life and hope that the above mentioned details are only needed very late in life.

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