Beneficiaries on Thai Bank accounts.

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I have not tried (I'm going to take it with me!), but I have heard that you can do that if the beneficiary is Thai. An American friend of mine passed away a few years ago. He held a Thai bank account. His relatives from the USA have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get the money out of his account ever since, although he never did anything officially to name a beneficiary.

Part of the problem with trying to deal with Thai banks is you keep getting different answers from different banks and all too often different answers from different branches of the same bank. My advice would be to go to your branch office and see if they have a standard form for naming a beneficiary. If there is no standard form, then I think you better consult a Thai attorney to get an accurate answer.

I would also suggest asking your embassy about it. I did not ask the USA embassy about a beneficiary for a Thai bank account, but I did ask about wills. I was told that it doesn't matter about a will. When a USA citizen dies within Thailand, ultimately the embassy gets the jurisdiction about how personal property and effects are to be disposed of. They said when an American dies in Thailand, the first thing the embassy looks for is the passport. The embassy contacts the next of kin and all decisions are left to the next of kin, even if you have both an American and a Thai will. Everything is still up to the next of kin and all you can do, with or without a will, is trust that your next of kin will respect your wishes. I did not ask what happens if there is no next of kin.

Based upon what has been going on regarding my late friend's bank account, apparently it can be a real problem. But no one in my late friend's family has actually come to Thailand to retrieve the money. They say there was not enough money left in the account to make it worth a trip here. They did, so they say, consult a Thai attorney via telephone calls and Email, but the attorney's fees also did not make it worth pursuing. They stopped trying. I do not know what will eventually become of the money, but I would guess that after a period of time the bank gets the funds left in dormant accounts.

I think the easiest solution would be to open a joint account with the person you want for a beneficiary if, and only if, you can be certain you can fully trust him or her.

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I'm told by my Thai bank (SCB) that the answer is "no." One can put their "beneficiary" on the account as an owner but at least SCB tells me that I can't name the person as a beneficiary.

I use the 800k baht routine for my one-year visa and I've heard about all the nightmares in getting money back to the US in case of your death (it can be done but it's apparently expensive and a nightmare). On advice of a Thai lawyer, I simply made a Will (in Thai) to make sure my Thai beneficiary gets the money if/when I get nailed by a bus or whatever. He (the beneficiary} and the Thai lawyer each have an original Will (and, yes, I can change it if/when I should ever want to do so).

I simply don't want my beneficiary as a co-owner of my account. Mainly that's because I like to keep my personal financial matters private although I also don't know 100% that I can always trust him (the beneficiary) all the time. My beneficiary also has an account at SCB and I can transfer funds to his account online with the click of a mouse (and with no charge from the bank for doing so).

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