Section 1646. Any person may, in contemplation of death, make a declaration of intention by will concerning dispositions as to his property or other matters which schall take effect according to the law after his death.
Section 1647. The declaration of intention in contemplation of death shall be the latest one in imperative term provided by will.
Section 1648. A will must be made according to the forms prescribed in Chapter II of this Title.
Section 1649. The administrator of an estate appointed by the deceased shall have the power and duty to arrange for the funeral of the deceased unless another person has been specially appointed by the deceased for that purpose.
If there is no administrator, or no person appointed by the deceased to arrange for the funeral, or no person entrusted by the heirs to arrange for the funeral, the person who has received the greatest amount of property by will or by statutory right shall have the power and duty to arrange for the funeral unless the Court on application of any interested person, thinks fit to appoint another person for that purpose.
Section 1650. Expenses creating an obligation in favour of a person arranging for the funeral may be claimed according to the preferential right as specified in Section 253 (2) of this Code.
If the funeral is delayed for any reason whatsoever, any person empowered under the foregoing section shall reserve a reasonable amount of money out of the assets of the estate for this purpose. Where the amount to be reserved cannot be agreed upon, or where an objection is raised, any interested person may apply to the Court.
In any case, the expenses or the money for the arrangement of the funeral may be reserved only up to the amount suitable to the social station in life of the deceased, and provided that the rights of the creditors of the deceased are not prejudiced thereby.
Section 1651. Subject to the provisions of Title IV:
(1) where a person is entitled, under a testamentary disposition, to the whole of the de cujus’ estate or to a fraction or a residuary part thereof which is not specifically separated from the mass of the estate, such person is said to be a legatee under a general title an has the same rights and liabilities as a statutory heir;
(2) where a person is entitled, under a testamentary disposition, only to a specific property identified in particular or specifically separated from the mass of the estate, such person is said to be a legatee under a particular title and has only rights and liabilities pertaining to such property.
In case of doubt, a legatee is presumed to be a legatee under a particular title.
Section 1652. A ward cannot make a legacy in favor of his guardian or in favor of the spouse, ascendant or descendant or brother or sister of his guardian until rendering of the account of the guardianship provided by Section 1577 and following of this Code is completed.
Section 1653. The writer of the will or a witness thereof cannot be a legatee under such will.
The forgoing paragraph shall also apply to the spouse of such writer of witness.
The competent official recording the statement made by witnesses under Section 1663 is deemed to be a writer within the meaning of this section.
Section 1654. The capacity of the testator must be considered only as at the time when the will is made.
The capacity of the legatee must be considered only as at the time when the testator dies.
FORMS OF WILLS
Section 1655. A will may be made only in any one of the forms prescribed in this Chapter.
Section 1656. A will may be made in the following form, that is to say, it must be made in writing, dated at the time of making of will and signed by the testator before at least two witnesses present at the same time who shall then and there sign their names certifying the signature of the testator.
No erasure, addition or other alternation in such will is valid unless made in the same form as prescribed by this section.
Section 1657. A will may be made by an holograph document, that is to say the the testator must write with his own hand the whole text of the document, the date and his signature.
No erasure, addition or other alteration in such will is valid unless made by the restator’s own hand and signed by him.
The provision of Section 9 of this Code shall not apply to a will made under this section.
Section 1658. A will may be made by a public document, that is to say:
(1) the testator must declare to the Kromakarn Amphoe* before at least two other persons as witness present at the same time what dispositions he wishes to be included in this will;
(2) the Kromakarn Amphoe must note down such declaration of the testator and read it to the latter and to the witnesses;
(3) the testator and the witnesses must sign their names after having ascertained that the statement noted down by the Kromakarn Amphoe corresponds with the declaration made by the testator;
(4) the statement noted down by the Kromakarn Amphoe shall be dated and signed by such official who shall certify under his hand and seal that the will has been made in compliance with the foregoing Subsections 1 to 3.
No erasure, addition or other alternation in such will is valid unless signed by the testator, the witness and the Kromakarn Amphoe.
[* According to Section 40 of the Act on the Administrative Organization of the State, B.E. 2495, all powers and duties relating to the official service are determined by law to belong to Kromakarn Amphoe are vested in Nai Amphoe.]
Section 1659. A will made by a public document may, upon request, be made outside the Amphoe Office.
Section 1660. A will may be made by a secret document, that is to say:
(1) the testator must sign his name on the document;
(2) he must close up the documents and sign his name on the document;
(3) he must produce the closed document before the Kromakarn Amphoe and at least two other persons as witnesses and declare to all of them that it contains his testamentary dispositions; and if the testator has not written with his own hand the whole text of the document he must state the name and domicile of the writer;
(4) after the Kromakarn Amphoe has noted down upon the cover of the document the declaration of the testator and the date of the production and has affixed his seal thereupon, the Kromakarn Amphoe, the testator and the witness must sign their names thereon.
No erasure, addition or other alternation in such will is valid unless signed by the testator.
Section 1661. If a person, who is deaf-mute or unable to speak, desires to make his will by a secret document, he must instead of making the declaration required in Section 1660 (3) write with his own land, in the presence of the Kromakarn Amphoe and of the witnesses, on the cover of the document, a statement that the enclosed document is his will and add the name and the domicile of the writer of the document, if any.
Instead of nothing down the declaration of the testator on the cover, the Kromakarn Amphoe shall certify thereon that the testator has complied with the requirements of the foregoing paragraph.
Section 1662. A will made by a public document or by a secret document shall not be divulged by the Kromakarn Amphoe to any other person during the lifetime of the testator, and the Kromakarn Amphoe is bound to hand over such will to the testator whenever the latter shall require him to do so.
If the will has been made by a public document the Kromakarn Amphoe shall, before handing over such will, make a copy thereof under his signature and seal. Such copy may not be divulged to any other person during the life of testator.
Section 1663. When under exceptional circumstances such as imminent danger of death, or during an epidemic or war, a person is prevented from making his will in any other if the prescribed forms, he may be make an oral will.
For this purpose, he must declare his intention regarding the dispositions of the will before at least two witnesses present at the same time.
Such witnesses must without delay appear for the Kromakarn Amphoe and state before him the dispositions which the testator has declared to them orally, as well as the date, place and exceptional circumstances under which the will was made.
The Kromakarn Amphoe shall note down the statement of the witnesses and such two witnesses shall sign the statement or, failing that, may make an equivalent to signature only by affixing a finger-print certified by the signatures of two witnesses.
Section 1664. A will made under the forgoing section loses its validity one month after the time when the testator has again been placed in a position to make a will in any other of the prescribed forms.
Section 1665. When the signature of the testator is required under Section 1656, 1658, 1660, the only equivalent to signature is the affixing of a finger-print certified by the signatures of two witnesses at the same time.
Section 1666. The provisions of Section 9 paragraphs 2* of this Code shall not apply to witnesses whose signatures are required under Section 1656, 1658, 1660.
[Amended by Section 15 of Act Promulgating the Revised Provisions of Book I of the Civil and Commercial Code B.E. 2535.]
Setion 1667. In the event of a Thai subject making his will in a foreign territory, such will may be made either according to the form prescribed by the law of the country where it is made or according to the form prescribed by Thai law.
When the will is made according to the form prescribed by Thai law, the powers and duties of the Kromakarn Amphoe under Section 1658, 1660, 1661, 1662, 1663 shall be exercised by:
(1) the Thai Diplomatic or Consular Officer acting within the scope of his authority, or
(2) any authority competent under foreign law for making authentic record of a statement.
Section 1668. Unless otherwise provided by law, the testator need not disclose to the witness the contents of his will.
Section 1669. During the time when the country is engaged in arms conflict or is in the state of war, a person serving in armed forces or acting in connection therewith may make a will according to the form prescribed in Section 1658, Section 1660 or Section 1663; and in such case the military officer or official of commissioned rank shall have the same powers and duties as those of the Kromakarn Amphoe.
The provisions of the foregoing paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to the person serving in armed forces or acting in connection therewith, who, while performing the duties for his country, makes a will in a foreign country which is engaged in armed conflict or is in the state of war; and in such cases the military officer or official commissioned rank shall have the same powers and duties as those of the Thai Diplomatic or Consular Officer.
If the testator under the two foregoing paragraphs is sick or wounded and is admitted to a hospital, the physician of that hospital shall also have the same powers and duties as those of the Kromakarn Amphoe, Thai Diplomatic or Consular Officer, as the case may be.
Section 1670. The following persons cannot witness at the making of a will;
(1) persons not sui juris
(2) persons of unsound mind or persons adjudged quasi-incompetent;
(3) persons who are deaf or dumb or blind
Section 1671. Where a person other than the testator is the writer of a will, such persons must sign his name thereon and add the statement that he is the writer.
If such person is also a witness, a statement that he is a witness must be written down after his signature in the same manner as is done by any other witness.
Section 1672. The Minister of Interior, Defense and Foreign Affairs shall have the powers and duties, in so far as they are respectively concerned, to issue Ministerial Regulations for carrying out the provisions of this Book and for fixing the rates and fees in connection therewith.
EFFECTS AND INTERPRETATION OF WILLS
Section 1673. Rights and duties under a will take effect from the death of the testator, unless a condition or time clause has been provided by the testator for its taking effect thereafter.
Section 1674. If a testamentary disposition is subject to a condition and the condition has been fulfilled before the death of the testator; if the condition is precedent, such disposition takes effect at the death of the testator; if the condition is subsequent, the disposition has no effect.
If the condition precedent is fulfilled after the death of the testator, the testamentary disposition takes effect at the death of the testator but ceases to have effect when the condition is fulfilled.
However, if the testator has declared in the will that, in the case provided by the two foregoing paragraphs the effect of the fulfillment of the condition shall relate back to the time of his death, such declaration of intention shall prevail.
Section 1675. Where a legacy is subject to a condition precedent, the beneficiary under such testamentary disposition may apply to the Court for the appointment of an administrator of the property bequeathed up to the time when the condition will be fulfilled or when such fulfillment will become impossible.
If the Court thinks fit, such applicant himself may be appointed administrator of the property, and a proper security may be required from him.
Section 1676. A will may be made charging a person to create a foundation or directly determining the appropriation of property for any purpose in accordance with the provisions of Section 110* of this Code.
Section 1677. Where there is a will creating a foundation under the foregoing section it shall be the duty of the heir or administrator, as the case may be, to apply to the Government for authorization to constitute it as a juristic person according to Section 114* of this Code unless it is otherwise provided by will.
If the authorization by the Government has not been applied for by the aforesaid person, the application may be made by any interested person, or by the Public Prosecutor.
[Amended by Section 15 of the Act Promulgation the Revised Provisions of Book I of the Civil Code B.E. 2535.]
Section 1678. When a foundation created by will has been constituted as a juristic person, the properties appropriated to its purpose by the testator are deemed to vest in such juristic person from the time when the will takes effect unless it is otherwise provided by will.
Section 1679. Where the foundation cannot be organized in accordance with its object, the properties shall devolve as may have been provided by the will.
In the absence of such provision, the Court shall, on application by the heir, the administrator, the Public Prosecutor or any interested person, appropriate the properties to such other juristic persons whose purpose appears to be the nearest possible to the intention of the testator.
If such appropriate cannot be made or if the foundation cannot come into existance on account of its being contrary to law or against public order or good morals, such testamentary disposition becomes ineffective.
Section 1680. The creditors of the testators are entitled to claim cancellation of any testamentary disposition creating a foundation, only in so far as they are prejudiced thereby.
Section 1681. If the property forming the subject of the legacy has been lost, destroyed or damaged, and in consequence of such circumstances a substitute or a claim for compensation for such property has been acquired, the legatee may claim delivery of the substitute received or may himself claim the compensation as the case may be.
Section 1682. Where a legacy is made by way of a release or a transfer or a claim, such legacy shall be affective only up to the amount still outstanding at the time of the death of the testator, unless otherwise provided by the will.
Any document evidencing the claim released or transferred shall be delivered to the legatee; and the provisions of Sections 303 to 313 and 340 of this Code shall apply mutatis mutandis; provided that if any act or proceedings were to have been carried out by the testator under those sections, the person who has to execute the legacy, or the legatee, may carry them out in his place.
Section 1683. A legacy made by the testator to any of his creditors is presumed not to be made in payment of the debt due to such creditor.
Section 1684. Where a clause in a will can be interpreted in several senses, the sense which best assures the observance of the intention of the testator shall be preferred.
Section 1685. Where the testator has made a legacy by describing the legatee in such a manner that he can be identified and there are several persons answering to the description of the legatee so made by the testator, in case of doubt all such persons are deemed to be entitles to equal shares.
WILLS WITH APPOINTMENT OF CONTROLLER OF PROPERTY
Section 1686. Trust created whether directly or indirectly by will or by any juristic act producing effect during lifetime or after death shall have no effect whatever.
Section 1687. If the testator desires to dispose of his property in favour of a minor or of a person adjudged incompetent or quasi-incompetent or of a person admitted into a hospital for unsoundness of mind but wishes to entrust the custody and management thereof to a person other than the parents, guardian, custodian or curator, he must appoint a controller of property by will.
Such appointment of a controller of property cannot be made for a longer period than the minority or the adjudication of incompetency or quasi-incompetency or the duration of the admittance into hospital as the case may be.
Section 1688. No appointment of the controller of property in regard to an immovable property or any real right appertaining thereto is complete unless it has been registered by the competent official.
The same provision applies as regards ships of five tons and over, floating houses and beasts of burden.(1)
[(1) The second paragraph of Section 1688 has been amended by Section 15 of the Civil and Commercial Code Amendment Act (no.14), B.E. 2548.]
Section 1689. With the exception of such persons as are specified in Section 1557 of this Code, any juristic or natural person of full capacity may be appointed a controller of property.
Section 1689. With the exception of such persons as are specified in Section 1557 of this Code, any juristic or natural person of full capacity may be appointed a controller of property.
Section 1690. A controller of property may be appointed by:
(1) the testator himself
(2) a person nominated for the purpose in the will
Section 1691. Unless otherwise provided in the will by the testator, a controller of property may appoint by will another person to act in his stead.
Section 1692. Unless otherwise provided in the will by the testator, the controller of property shall have, as regards the property entrusted to him, the same rights and duties as the guardian within the meaning of Book V of this Code.
REVOCATION AND LAPSE OF A WILL OR CLAUSE IN A WILL
Section 1693. A testator may at any time revoke his will wholly or partly.
Section 1694. If a former will is to be revoked wholly or partly by a latter will, the revocation is valid only when the latter will is made in any of the forms prescribed by law.
Section 1695. Where a will is embodied in one document only, the testator can revoke it wholly or partly by intentional destruction or cancellation.
Where the will is embodied in several duplicates, such revocation shall not be complete unless it is effected in all the duplicates.
Section 1696. A testamentary disposition is revoked if the testator has intentionally made a valid transfer of the property which is the subject of the will.
The same rule applies if the testator has intentionally destroyed such property.
Section 1697. Unless the testator has otherwise made a declaration of intention in his will, if it appears that a former and a latter will conflict, the former is deemed to have been revoked by the latter only as to the parts in which their provisions conflict.
Section 1698. A testamentary disposition lapses:
(1) if the legatee dies before the testator;
(2) if the testamentary disposition is to take effect on a condition being fulfilled and the legatee dies before its fulfillment, or it becomes certain that the condition cannot be fulfilled;
(3) the legatee refuses legacy
(4) if the whole property bequeathed is, without the intention of the testator, lost or destroyed during his lifetime and the testator has not acquired a substitute or a claim for compensation for the loss of such property.
Section 1699. If a will or a clause in a will as regards any property has no effect for any reason whatsoever, such property devolves on the statutory heirs or the State as the case may be.
NULLITY OF A WILL OR OF CLAUSE IN A WILL
Section 1700. Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, a person may, be an act producing effect during lifetime or after death, dispose of any property under a stipulation that such property shall be inalienable by the beneficiary under such disposition, provided that the stipulator appoints some person, other than the beneficiary under such disposition, who shall become absolutely entitled to such property in case of violation of the inalienability clause.
The person appointed must be capable or rights at the same time when the act disposing of such property takes effect.
If there is no such appointment, the inalienability clause shall be deemed non-existent.
Section 1701. The inalienability clause stipulated under the foregoing section may be either for a period of time or for the life of the beneficiary.
If no period has been fixed, the period of inalienability shall be deemed to last for the life of the beneficiary if the beneficiary is a natural person, or thirty years if the beneficiary is a juristic person.
If the period of inalienability is specified, such period cannot exceed thirty years; if a longer period is specified, it shall be reduced to thirty years.
Section 1702. Any inalienability clause concerning movable property whose ownership is not subject to registration shall be deemed non-existent.
No inalienability clause concerning immovable property or any real right appertaining thereto is complete unless it is made in writing and registered by the competent official.
(*1) The provisions of the foregoing paragraph applies as regards ships of five tons and over, floating houses and beast of burden.
[* The third paragraph of Section 1702 has been by Section 16 of Civil and Commercial Code Amendment Act, (no.14), B.E. 2548.]
Section 1703. A will made by a person who has not completed his fifteenth year of age is void.
Section 1704. A will made by a person adjudged incompetent is void.
A will made by a person, who is alleged to be of unsound mind but not adjudged incompetent, may be annulled only if it is proved that at the time of making the will the testator was actually of unsound mind.
Section 1705. A will or clause in a will is void if it is contrary to the provisions of Section 1652, 1653, 1656, 1657, 1658, 1660, 1661, or 1663.
Section 1706. A testamentary disposition is void:
(1) if it appoints a legatee upon the condition that the latter shall dispose also by will of his own property in favour of the testator or of a third person;
(2) if it refers to a person whose identity cannot be ascertained; however a legacy under a particular title may be made in favour of a person to be chosen by a certain person out of several other persons or out of any group of persons specified by the testator;
(3) if the property bequeathed is so insufficient described that it cannot ascertained or if the amount of a legacy is left to the discretion of a certain person.
Section 1707. If a testamentary disposition appoints a legatee upon the condition that the latter shall dispose of the property bequeathed in favour of a third person, such condition shall be deemed non-existent.
Section 1708. After the death of the testator, any interested person may apply to the Court to have a will cancelled on account of duress; but if the testator continues to live for more than one year after he has ceased to be under the influence of the duress, such application cannot be made.
Section 1709. After the death of the testator, any interested person may apply to the Court to have a will cancelled on account of mistake or fraud only when the mistake or fraud is such that without it the will would not have been made.
The foregoing paragraph shall apply even if the fraud has been committed by a person who is not a beneficiary under the will.
However, a will made under the influence of mistake or fraud is operative if the testator fails to revoke it within one year after discovering the mistake or fraud.
Section 1710. No action for cancellation of a testamentary disposition can be entered later than:
(1) three months after the death of the testator if the ground for cancellation was known to the plaintiff during the lifetime of the testator, or
(2) three months after the plaintiff has acquired knowledge of such ground in any other case.
However, if such testamentary disposition affecting the interest of the plaintiff is unknown to him, even though the ground for cancellation was known to him, the period of three months shall run from the moment when such disposition is known or ought to have been known to the plaintiff.
In any case, such action cannot be entered later than ten years after the death of the testator.