Family Money: In case you’re not immortal ... and living in Thailand
Managing director of Westminster Portfolio Services (Thailand) Ltd.
A Last Will & Testament may be in any one of four
forms, with varying degrees of safety from challenge. First, what is known
as a ‘holographic will’ which means you wrote it out by hand and you
make corrections and verify them yourself.
Second: a Will made with a lawyer. Corrections on the
first two types of Wills, if evident, are points of attack by an opposing
Third: a Public Will, which is the strongest Will
available in Thailand. The form for this type of Will is in Thai, which
needs to be filled out, and cannot be attacked, and is available at the
District House at Banglamung, Amphur* office, and at Pattaya City Hall,
Amphur* Office and may cost 100 baht. (*Amphur is the same as the Council
Office in the UK, or City or County Clerk in the USA.)
The fourth is none: you die intestate and your goods
are distributed by the state according to certain rules.
It is worth remembering that there is no second
language in Thailand, so if there is a question between an English
translation and a Thai translation, the Thai wins. Any language is
accepted, but if translated into Thai, the Thai version prevails. Bear in
mind that only a will written in Thai is technically admissible in a Thai
court: the one in English is for your convenience and information only.
Westerners are used to the concept of naming their own
Executor in their Will. In Thailand it is technically the court who
appoints your Executor: in your Will you name a “Personal
Representative” (who may be a relative, friend or your lawyer) who is
usually accepted by the court and appointed your Executor.
Your Executor is then charged with ensuring any taxes
due are paid, and the assets listed in your Will are distributed according
to your wishes – even to someone on the other side of the world! The
Executor may charge the estate a reasonable amount or fee for time spent
and for expenses incurred carrying out these duties; but the testator will
usually have set a reasonable limit on the amount his Personal
Representative may charge in toto.
While you can include property and other assets in
another Country in a Will made in Thailand, and this Will may be accepted
in your own country, the safest method is to have a Will in each country
covering your assets in each – and specifying that this Will covers only
those assets held in, for instance, the United Kingdom. Another Will is
similarly drawn up, specifying that this Will covers only those assets
held in Thailand. A third may cover Australia – and so on. This may
sound onerous, but is also sound tax planning.
There is no direct law on live-in partners: the closest
law is business partnership law, and has mostly to do with moveable
If you put property in your partner’s name, and you
want it back or part of it, it is very difficult.
The legal age in Thailand is variable depending on
circumstances from 18 through 20. If your partner is 21 or more, she or he
is past the age of requiring consent. But children 15 years of age and
younger engaged in sexual acts are considered by statute to have been
raped regardless of any consent given. At ages 16, 17 and 18, you can be
sued by the parents.
If you want to separate from a partner, you will
usually get what is yours and she will get what is hers.
It is therefore wise to keep an inventory of the things
you buy for her, things she buys for you, and things you buy jointly.
Houses and property, in your Thai partner’s name, are theirs regardless
of who paid for the property. Use loan and rent agreements to retain
control of the property, or form a company.
Having children in an unmarried relationship is
evidence of a long-term relationship: it is therefore a partnership, and
partnership law governs.
Thai law is based on Community Property, so if you get
married, what you or she had before the marriage are your separate
properties, whereas what you acquired or earned after the marriage is
joint property, and divided equally in the event of divorce.
Pre-nuptial Agreements are legal in Thailand and will
be upheld by the Court.
Don’t forget that your Thai will should list (as an
Appendix) all your assets in Thailand, including bank accounts (with
branch address and account numbers); vehicles (if they’re in your own
name) including registration number, chassis & engine numbers;
condominiums and shares in companies owning property; jewellery and
personal possessions, including paintings and objects d’art. It saves
squabbling if you specify who inherits each item or the proceeds of
liquidation of that asset.
Having taken care of this most important aspect of
estate planning, you can relax and, as Mr Spock would say, live long and
Personal Directions: Our greatest efficiency in life
By Christina Dodd,
founder and managing director of Asia Training Associates
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to breeze
through life and its ups and downs at what looks like an effortless pace,
always coming out on top? Some people have really got it together in terms of
how they conduct themselves in this world and how they turn every situation
into a winning one. It’s a bit like being around people who never appear
messed up even though they have been caught in a flash flood or a hurricane.
We all notice people who have this ability to consistently appear calm, cool
and in control both in the way they behave and look.
Today, I’d like to take some time to talk about this
aspect of our lives - our personal efficiency in life. Usually we think of
business matters when we hear the word “efficiency” but this can also
refer to ourselves as individuals. By “efficiency” I mean the ability to
create the greatest results with the least effort in the shortest period of
time. So what is our own efficiency? For most of us this efficiency is not
very organized and developed. We just exist without such concerns and focus.
However, the more conscious we are, the greater will be our efficiency to
become the masters of life.
One individual’s efficiency may be to learn newer skills
to create more success in his life, while for another he optimizes his life by
being more organized. And yet another has the wisdom to maximize his potential
by implementing his most cherished personal values, such as a belief in hard
work and self-reliance. In this way each person has his own specific, though
limited efficiencies to enable him to accomplish in life.
So two questions arise:
How can we create a greater efficiency than the one we currently employ?
How can we tap into the infinite potentials of life, enabling very rapid,
ever-accelerating accomplishment, success, and joy?
One approach to building a greater efficiency is to
consider which of the critical factors that enable great accomplishment we are
They include -
* Do we have a direction established in life?
* Do we have the proper skills and knowledge required of life?
* Do we have the optimal level of organization?
* Do we have the necessary energy, or the psychological strength, or the deep
abiding concern for others? And, very importantly,
* Do we have the right personal attitudes?
When we become conscious of those critical areas in life
that enable great accomplishment and success in life, and then we take the
effort to obtain them, we begin to move towards a higher efficiency that
enables the greatest results with the least effort in the shortest period of
We can go even further, however. When considering how we
can create our greatest efficiency we inevitably must consider the realm of
our deepest consciousness and spirit; for there-in lie the greatest methods of
efficiencies to maximize our accomplishment, success, and joy we seek. When we
move away from living on the surface of life, and move to the depths of our
inner being, we develop a new consciousness that enables us to get the most
From that inner poise we perceive the world from a wider
field of vision, knowledge, and comprehension; we are in tune with the widest
possibilities and potentials around us; we are more intimately connected with
others and the environment; there is the establishment of a calm, a peace, a
unity of purpose. From that poise the invisible energies in the world build up
around us, and when we act, we get dynamic results. There is perfect
execution, there is the cooperation of life. There are instantaneous positive
responses from life, from any and all quarters. Is there any greater
efficiency in life?
Let’s look at this example.
One individual devised his greatest efficiency this way: He
decided that in an important project he would stay focused in his inner being
rather than live on the surface of life. He would remain positive. He would
not allow any negative attitudes or his separating ego come in the way. He
would be still, quiet; moving only as he is compelled to. He would honor the
will and wishes of others. He would open himself to the Spirit, the Force
before commencing a major action. He would know his direction, his objective
and goals of that which he wanted to accomplish on the project. With that
scope of efficiency he inevitably gains the cooperation of life.
Accomplishment is rapid and great; life is fresh,
energized; he invokes instantaneous positive response from life; he achieves
the most with the least effort. He is living his maximum, greatest efficiency!
So what can we say about our level of efficiency? How
can we increase it? Are we really interested in and serious about achieving
greater accomplishment and joy in our lives? If so, we need to maximize
our efficiency, so that we see the greatest results with the least effort in
the shortest period of time. To the degree we follow our efficiency, will
indicate the degree to which we transcend the norms of space and time.
The skills of personal efficiency on the base level take
responsibility for the organization of individual lives. Going up a level,
collectively these skills contribute to efficiency and productivity in
industry and to accord and harmony in society.
These skills are and integral part of the “package” or
“life skills set” that we emphasize in our training.
Time management and associated business training programs
are not just about clock watching and super filing systems! Customer Relations
management is not just about sales figures! And by the same token, personal
development and life skills training is not just about making people feel good
... it is about producing individuals who have the skills to lead productive
and useful lives by harnessing their inner-most strengths and reserves in
order to benefit not only themselves, but society as a whole.
For more information about how we can assist you or your
organization, please contact me at Christina.dodd @ atasiam.com
Until next time, have a great week!
The Doctor's Consultation:
Dengue Fever - How NOT to get it!
by Dr. Iain Corness
Perusal of the news all over Thailand shows that Dengue
fever is on the up and up. In fact, in the North, the incidence of Dengue
Haemorrhagic Fever has tripled compared to last year. Even on our tourist
islands this has become a problem, and on some of the surrounding islands as
well. With the monsoon rains we have been having recently, this is one of the
reasons that this disease is on the upsurge - but there is something we can
all do about it. Read on!
However, first you should understand a little more about
Dengue. This is a nasty viral condition that has been coming round in epidemic
waves for many years. It is also a fairly wide spread virus with 2.5 billion
people living in Dengue endemic areas. We, in Thailand, belong to that group.
Like Malaria, the virus is carried by mosquitoes, this time
by one called Aedes aegypti. The virus itself is related to Japanese
encephalitis, Murray Valley encephalitis and Yellow Fever, and there are four
“serotypes” or subgroups of it.
The mosquito lays its eggs in water containers, preferring
the clean water found in water tanks and pots, in the saucers under pot plants
and even under the pet’s food dish. Inside discarded car tyres are another
favourite spot. These mosquitoes are not of the adventurous type and feed
during the day and spend their time within 200 metres of their hatchery.
Consequently, the eradication of any local breeding areas becomes very
important towards maintaining your own health, as you can see. Keep your home
free from lying water for a radius of 200 metres and you’re looking good!
Simple Dengue (if you can call it that) has an incubation
period of around 4 to 7 days and then the full-blown symptoms of high fever
and headache begin. The headache is usually behind the eyes and is made worse
by eye movement. From there the pains progress to the limbs with acute muscle
pains, which gave it the old name “Break Bone Fever”. Interestingly, some
patients complain of a metallic taste in the mouth. (Please don’t ask - I
have no idea why!)
With our ability to treat the viral ailments being very
limited, the defence against the Dengue virus lies in Health and Hygiene
initiatives, if you get mosquitoes in the house during the day. For example,
do you regularly change the water in containers the Aedes aegypti mosquito
might call home? Do you have mosquito screens? Does baby sleep under a
mosquito net? If the answer to these questions is “no”, then perhaps it is
time to look critically at your own Dengue prevention plan. Let me assure you,
it is not a disease you want! And the Haemorrhagic form in particular.
The other precautions are to wear long trousers and long
sleeved shirts, especially at sun up and sun down, when the mosquito is at its
most ravenous. The other factor to remember is “D” for Dengue and “D”
for DEET. DEET is the magic ingredient in mosquito repellents, so when you go
to buy some, check the label - if it has DEET, then get it. And then remember
to use it!
So to avoid falling prey to Aedes aegypti, empty free
standing water around the home, use screens and mosquito nets if necessary and
apply repellent containing DEET. Best of luck!
Your response (8.8.03) elicited much hil(l) arity and reminded me of a
lift attendant who would cry, ‘Ladies Underwear - up and down like
yo-yos!’ How apt! I suspect you are at Heart a ‘Janet Reger’ girlie,
with a bounce in your step and two in your camisole. Nothing wrong with
copies. Wee Nit (the adorable) is an identical copy of her twin sister,
Ying. Nit same same Ying! Just five seconds between them. And Nit
doesn’t fade in the wash. Only problem is that I may have been a
butterfly to my buttercup by mistake. Bit of a poser, even if two
buttercups do not quite make a posy. What can I do? Ying tong iddle i po?
At last Hillary can see what is your problem. You gave it all away with
the tootle “Ying tong iddle i po.” You are an addict of the
all-leather Goon Show, circa 1952, that being the line from the smash hit,
the Ying Tong Iddle I Po song. Ah yes, my Petal, now I know, but who is
Why is it that the tourists who come over to Thailand become ugly fat,
pawing, groping drunks? Is there some sort of screening process to only
choose these horrible people? Do you know why, wise Hillary?
Yes, of course I know why, Petal. It’s because they are ugly, fat,
pawing, groping drunks at home, but probably their wives kept a tight
leash on them. There is no hope for people like that, but unfortunately
all inexpensive tourist cities get them. That goes for other countries as
well as Thailand. Some of the Greek islands have become so bad that the
police are regularly locking up tourists and even handing down jail
sentences of up to one year for behaviour not appreciated by Greek
morality. The good news is they only come over here for three weeks. The
bad news is that they come back again next year!
I read almost every week about these men who have “fallen in love”
with the Thai girls. What is wrong with these men? Do you really believe
them, or are they just living a holiday romance dream? Or maybe you are
one of them as well?
Doubting Dora from Dorset
Am I one as well? One what? Use your native language properly, woman.
Instead of asking what is wrong with these men, perhaps you should be
asking, what is wrong with the women in their own countries? Certainly
there is the holiday romance side of things, but if everything were rosy
in the gardens ‘back home’ they wouldn’t be out here in the first
place. So why are you here, Doubting Dora from Dorset?
My father (a widower) is coming over to see my husband and I next month.
He gets along very well with my husband and already hubby is making noises
about taking Dad out to some of the places around town that he wouldn’t
take me to, for example. How do I convince my husband that these places
are not suitable for my father either, and he should be more discreet with
where he takes him? As I have a busy schedule with organizations and
charity work, I cannot be with him all the time as a chaperone.
A chaperone? Are you joking? Haven’t you heard it is your father’s
position to supply moral guardianship for you not vice versa? It is up to
your Father, and most certainly not you, to choose his preferred
entertainment. Perhaps you feel the need to step into your late Mum’s
shoes as moral guardian, protector of families, or thought police? Have a
think about what you are proposing. It is destructive, irrelevant and
interfering. Try taking on the interested daughter role instead and allow
your Father his own place and live life at his own pace. However, perhaps
you should go with them one night and have your eyes opened. There’s
lots of “fun” out there. You don’t have to be serious all the time.
Camera Class: Taking the camera on holidays
by Harry Flashman
you go on holidays, probably the last thing you remember to do is to throw the
trusty 35 mm camera in the suitcase. After all, you want to come back with some
photographs to show where you have been and what you did. Right? Let’s face
it, that overseas trip is something you saved months for, don’t let its
memories fade with time. Record them on film.
Now before you add “Pack Camera” to the To Do list,
there’s a little bit of photographic preparation to be done too. The first,
and should be most obvious, is just to make sure the camera works. If you
haven’t used the camera for some time, buy new batteries for it and put a roll
of film through before you go away. There’s nothing worse than finding out
that the camera had a problem AFTER you get back!
Now, no matter where you go these days, someone has been
there before you. And they’ve written a guidebook about it too, so your next
move is to actually plan some shots before you even leave Thailand. Research
your destination properly and you should know what is likely to be a significant
place, monument, castle, lake, waterfall, etc., in the area you will be
visiting. When you read the Lonely Planet Guide or whatever, use a highlighter
pen to remind you of photo opportunities.
Thinking about and anticipating “how” you should take any
landmark will produce much better results when you finally arrive to take the
picture. You will not be so over-awed that you just stand there and go
“click”. You will be ready to try to show this segment of your trip with
some photographic flair. It works, believe me!
It is always tempting to take photographs from the plane.
There is one classic shot you should always attempt on every trip. That is the
aerial. Shooting out of plane windows is not really all that difficult, but
there are a couple of catches. Firstly, pick a porthole where you can see a
little of the engine intake in the shot. Adds drama and shows how you got up
there! Shoot from the side of the plane opposite from the sun. This way you
won’t see the scratches on the plane window. Use a wide-angle lens if you’ve
got one, set the camera on auto and get as close to the window as possible, but
not touching it (otherwise you get vibrations coming through to give you fuzzy
Shooting the locals. Your research of the places you are
going to will soon tell you if there are interesting “locals” which would
make good photographs. Priests, tribes folk, indigenous people, policemen and
the like all make for good shots and gives the “atmosphere” of your holiday.
It’s OK to shoot when they are unaware of your presence, but if you want a
formal photograph, always ask. Just wave the camera and smile if you can’t
speak the local lingo. It usually works. If not, wave money! That always does.
One question that is always asked, is when do you process
your film? Every time you go through a security check in an airport, they X-Ray
your baggage. Sure, there’s little signs up which say “Film safe”. Don’t
believe them! By the time your film has been through a few of these checks, it
has had a significant dose of rays, and the effect is additive. One pass may be
OK, but a few passes are not. Process as much film as you can “over there”
before you come back. Of course, if you are holidaying in Uzbekistan or the
Antarctic wilderness, you may as well take the risk and bring the film back here
Think about how you are going to present the results. It is
always a huge temptation to bring out folders of photos as soon as you get back.
Wait! Sort them, keep the good, and throw away the bad. Show only your best
shots and everyone will be amazed at your superb photographs!
Mrs. DoLittle’s Corner
Animals, being unable to voice their sentiments in human
terms, suffer a great deal in the hands of mankind. Because they don’t
think as much as we do, their feelings and senses are more developed.
to eat its own tail?
Even though cows and pigs don’t understand that they’ll
end up at the slaughterhouse, they sense an impending doom and live their lives
in fear from the moment they are taken away from their mothers.
It is a well known fact amongst pig farmers that a week
before slaughter, the pigs fall ill with high fever, and they are then,
systematically, put on antibiotics.
Swiss Alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541), father of modern
chemistry and founder of homeopathy, wrote in his treatise on bovines and large
mammals that mankind has inherited the sense of family bonding from the large
mammals. Cows have a deep emotional connection with each other and know their
own relatives. If this is true, their life on this planet has become a living
nightmare as they are forced to die together by the droves. Millions of animals
die in shock and terror on a daily basis.
As carnivorous predators, humans have to be considered the
worst kind of all, having organized factories for killing sentient beings.
Furthermore, in the midst of this holocaust, the planet is being destroyed by
over grazing of cattle. The Amazon has lost 5 square meters of forest for each
100 grams of American hamburger brought to market. Thousands of South American
plant and animal species are becoming extinct because of gross world consumerism
based on wrong eating habits.
So I’ve given you something to think about next time you
crave a hamburger. Or perhaps you don’t want to think about it because you
enjoy your meat too much? Well then, what can I say, except, perhaps it’s a
case of the lizard eating its own tail! When you eat your own tail, you tend to
get the rear end view of the situation.
The moral of today’s story is: Whilst we are busy consuming
our own tails, we may not notice we are heading for a ‘black hole’!