“Inheritance” is a topic that has caused many families to split apart, file lawsuits, and go through legal proceedings, resulting in severed relationships among relatives in many households. Currently, making a will is seen as a viable solution that many people are interested in, as it allows them to determine who will receive the remaining assets.
However, today we will discuss cases where there is no will, and who will inherit the most.
- Separating marital and non-marital assets first.
- Who will inherit if there is no will?
- Can illegitimate children inherit?
- How will the inheritance be divided without a will?
- The division of inheritance between married couples and children.
Separating marital and non-marital assets first.
This is an important step based on my experience as a lawyer for over 10 years. The most crucial aspect is distinguishing between “inheritance” and “marital assets” in cases where the deceased had a spouse (registered marriage only).
If you are unsure about the legal definition of marital assets and personal assets, I recommend studying the article “What are marital assets?” before proceeding.
In this context, I will summarize that any money, gold, or property acquired in the name or possession of the deceased after the marriage registration is generally considered marital assets that need to be divided equally between the spouses, regardless of whether they contributed to acquiring those assets or not.
The division process is not complicated. Anything classified as marital assets should be allocated to the spouse (husband or wife) first, before considering any other division.
Yes, that’s right. As soon as the marriage begins, half of the marital assets automatically belong to the spouse (specifically the portion categorized as marital assets).
Who will inherit if there is no will?
Once the marital status has been resolved, we will have what is called the “inheritance estate” (Section 1600 of the Civil and Commercial Code).
“Section 1600 of this statutory law, the inheritance estate of the deceased includes all types of assets of the deceased, including rights and liabilities, unless otherwise provided by law or unless they are inherently personal to the deceased.”
Alright then, once we have obtained the inheritance estate, let’s see who will be entitled to inherit before we proceed with the proportional distribution (but don’t forget about debts, they must be deducted from our assets first; only the remaining amount can be considered as inheritable).
The law has already stipulated this matter.
According to Sections 1629, 1630, and 1635 of the Civil and Commercial Code.
To simplify and make it easier to understand, if there is an established order of priority, the next in line will not inherit anything at all, even a single unit, except in the case of parents and the spouse who will inherit equally as if they were one child. This is based on the principle of “closer relatives cut off distant relatives.”
The order of succession for inheritance (intestate succession) based on legal principles is as follows:
- Descendants (children)
- Siblings of the same parents
- Siblings of either parent
- Paternal or maternal grandparents
- Paternal or maternal uncles, aunts, great-grandparents
Next, let’s try to examine the proportions of inheritance.
Can illegitimate children inherit?
Inheritance is primarily determined by bloodline, so even if a child is not born to the registered spouse or “legitimate child,” they are still considered to have the right to inherit, just like any other child, in accordance with the law.
How will the inheritance be divided without a will?
When there is no will, the distribution of inheritance is determined by “dividing the estate among the eligible heirs.” The law specifies an order of priority, and heirs in the same class are entitled to an equal share.
For example, if there are three children, all three children would receive an equal portion of the inheritance. It is not based on the notion that the eldest child receives a larger share (not like in Chinese movies), for instance.
However, there is an exception concerning the spouse, who has specific provisions. If dividing the inheritance with the children, the spouse receives an equal portion. If dividing the inheritance with the parents, the spouse receives half, and the other half is divided among the siblings. If dividing the inheritance with deceased siblings, the spouse receives half, and the other half is divided among the siblings of the deceased, based on certain proportions. Similar provisions apply to other relatives such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc., with specific proportions. It is advisable to consult with a lawyer for detailed guidance on division matters.
The division of inheritance between married couples and children.
In the case where your father passes away leaving an estate worth 6 million baht, having registered marriage with your mother and sharing income together, and with your grandparents already deceased, and having two children, let’s examine who will inherit how much.
- Separating the marital assets first, which amount to 3 million baht, we allocate it to your mother as a marital asset, not as an inheritance.
- For the inheritance of 3 million baht, it will be divided among your mother and the two children, totaling three individuals.
- Average = mother 1 million, and 1 million for each children.
- The distribution will be as follows:
- Your mother: 4 million baht
- Older child: 1 million baht
- Younger child: 1 million baht
In summary, the person who receives the largest inheritance without a specific will is the spouse. When someone passes away without a will, would recieved most of the deceased person’s assets, which include both marital assets and inheritance. This applies regardless of whether the inheritance is divided among the surviving spouse, parents, children, or other relatives.
If you are dissatisfied with the distribution of assets according to the law and would like to have more control over the allocation, you have the option to create a will and determine the proportions yourself. This allows you to specify how you want your assets to be distributed, considering individuals who hold significance in your life, even if they are not legally defined as beneficiaries.
There are many complex and challenging situations that can arise, such as having multiple spouses, children born outside of marriage, or cases involving disputes and harm caused by heirs. It is advisable to consult with a legal team to understand the process and options for creating a will.
If you are unsure about how to begin the process of creating a will, you can contact our legal team for assistance. We are here to provide service and support.
Article : Nadear
Authored : Champ lawyer