Power Of Attorney In Thailand
20 replies to this topic
Posted 2008-05-15 20:54:04
Does anyone have any experience or knowledge on the Thai legal version of power of attorney here in LOS??
My father is 89 yrs old and in my care and he is slipping [physically and mentally] and I still have to maintain his retirement visa which requires that I have to take him into the bank to make monthly transfers into his Thai acct and yearly trips into the US consulate for a sworn affadavit of his pension income as per Thai immigration requirements.
So, I need to get a POA [or Thai equivilent of] so that I can do these duties for him. He is of sound mind [now] but quite limited physically and some day soon, he will be bed ridden and I need the POA to carry out his obligations. He is also agreeable to the above, so, what is the procedure for getting POA here and will it work for me to sign his credit card transfers?? and consulate affadavit of pension??
And what would reasonable attorney's fees be for that service??
Any feedback will be appreciated.........
Posted 2008-05-16 11:12:54
Seems to me there are several things you can do:
1- Your father can add your name as an "authorized signer" to his credit card. I've done this with my sister in the U.S. Handy when I want to buy something off line.
2- Your father can add your name to his U.S. bank account. Same deal with my sister.
3- Regarding the Thai bank account, not sure if having this be a joint account, so you could do the monthly transfers from the U.S., would be acceptable to Thai Immigration. Have seen different experiences on this on ThaiVisa. However, you could check with a C. Mai lawyer about a power of attorney in Thai for you to use at the bank. Perhaps a good idea to ask the Thai bank first, they might well have a sample form they use for such.
4- Regarding the Power of Attorney, if it's needed at the U.S. Consulate in C. Mai, how about doing one there. A google search for: u.s. embassy bangkok power of attorney
comes up with the following from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok:
The American Citizen Services Unit performs notarial services during normal working hours, with the exception of the last Friday of every month. Appointments for notarials can be made online here. Services include
Taking of oaths
Acknowledgment of signatures on documents for use in the United States, certification of true copies for Social Security and Internal Revenue Services purposes
authentication of Royal Thai Government officials' signatures.
Notarial services are performed for any person regardless of nationality if the document will be used in the United States.
In most cases the document will be ready the same day. Please be aware that the consular officer may refuse any notarial service when:
The host country does not authorize the performance of the service,
The document will be used in transactions that may be prohibited by U.S. law,
The officer believes that the document will be used for a purpose that is unlawful, improper, or inimical to the best interests of the United States, or
The officer does not understand the document, due to language or any other reason.
Consular officers are prohibited from giving legal advice or acting as witnesses. If you have any questions about the contents of the documents and the implications of your signing them, the American Citizens Unit can provide a list of Thai attorneys for you to consult, or you may wish to consult an attorney in the United States.
The fee for notarial services is $30 for the first notarial seal, and $20 for each additional seal. We accept cash (either Baht or Dollars) or credit cards. We cannot accept personal checks.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is an acknowledgment made by a grantor to a consular officer. The named individual appears before the consul and acknowledges that the signature on the document is his/her own signature.
A notarizing officer may not act as an attesting witness to the execution of an instrument in connection with any private party matter, such as powers of attorney, wills, or contracts. If a document needs witnessing, the person requesting the notarial service must provide the witness(es).
Posted 2008-05-16 13:12:47
A Power of Attorney will be useful in the situations outlined
But I think I am right to say that a Power of Attorney becomes invalid
upon the death of the grantor ????
So it could not be used to claim funds from a Fixed Deposit account after the death of the Account Holder.
Jaideeguy - I hope you can get things sorted out to help your Father and do please let us know the Result
of your enquiries and what actions you were able to take.
I would repeat the earlier advice - do speak to the Bank.
Whilst I appreciate your worries - Thai people - including Immigration Officers - are sympathetic
Human Beings - in an emergency a Medical Cert will surely result in assistance from Immigration
Officers - they are not going to deport your poor sick Father.
Posted 2008-05-17 10:24:01
Thanks for the input.
I have contacted and have an appointment with a local attorney to have a POA drawn up and The US consulate informed me that will be ok for the sworn affidavit required.
I never considered that the POA would terminate upon death of the grantor, but it does make sense. Maybe a will drawn up by the attorney would suffice?? But, will that hamper the closure of his account??
I will try to contact an 'understanding and sympathetic' immigration officer regarding that, but so far, I've found them to mostly be the opposite of 'understanding and sympathetic'.
My intentions are not to 'jump' on his baht account, but I just don't want to have to go thru a lot of red tape and problems when the time comes and I don't want the Thai govmt to end up with any of it...so I should inquire about inheritance taxes as well.
Hopefully no wills or legal doccuments written up here will interfere with his estate in the US, which is already finalized and in a trust fund.
As far as info from the bank, I tried that already and their advise was to have him pre-sign a withdrawal slip and copy passport signed and that would be no problem [with them] but is that legal??
I want to do this legal so that there will not be any fallout later with my visa here in LOS.
Posted 2008-05-17 17:16:21
The trusted executors of my will have the PIN number for my Thai ATM card,
and instructions to empty my account when I pop my clogs.
Probably not legal, but effective.
Posted 2008-05-18 22:10:48
Is that Fair to put that EXTRA burden on your Executors?
To expect them to Break the Law after your Demise?
Nothing for you to worry about from 6 feet under
But puts them at the risk of Criminal Action
- maybe at the behest of anybody contesting your will
- or even a beneficiary who challenges how they might spend the
Or just somebody wanting to make trouble.
Posted 2008-05-19 09:56:18
thats exactly what i have done, its not legal , but nobody knows from the institutions when somebody die.
1. safebox --- joint--
2. Accounts power of ... and/or joint AC
3. property POA from THAI embassy,,, thats expensive bcs only valid 12 month here in thailand ( for example open end in spain),,so in TH have to renew it all 12 month.
POA for property i have the iformation cannot make here in thailand, but not sure this is corect
Posted 2008-05-19 16:10:39
I seriously doubt anyone will object, or even notice.
The sums involved will be minimal compared to the bulk of my estate
which is inside a trust fund and will be dispersed under the terms of the trust.
Posted 2008-05-21 08:28:20
Report from attorney's visit....
Got POA for consulate affidavit purposes only. only 2kTHB
POA will not work for signing credit cards, so will have father check with his bank to give me authority to sign.
Having a will drawn up mentioning his Thai bank accts and me as beneficiary and my wife 2nd...also mentioning that he wants his body to be donated to science for research. cost of that simple will is 8kTHB [seems a little high and will try to discount]
Posted 2008-05-21 09:24:28
That is indeed pretty steep here in Thailand according my information.
Posted 2008-05-21 10:58:30
The following is based on my experience using a POA drawn up for use outside of Thailand and may or may not be applicable.
There are different types of POA. In your situation and assuming your father is agreeable then what you want is known as an Enduring POA. This gives you total access to all of his affairs, no limits. If he isn't comfortable with this then limits can be imposed e.g. property cannot be sold or a limit put on the amount of money that can be withdrawn from a particular account.
There is an additional POA called a Medical POA. In the case of your father requiring medical treatment this means you can give consent for medical treatment if your father is not able to himself and a hospital then has to do what you say as you are authorised to speak on his behalf. One example is where someone is on life support. You will know if that person would want to be kept alive for the sake of being kept alive or would prefer to have the plug pulled. I know for myself I would prefer the latter but if you're unconscious then you can't tell anyone that and you may have a doctor or hospital who will want to try everything to keep you alive even when the quality of life is no longer acceptable to you.
Once a person dies then a POA can no longer be used. To continue to use one is fraud if anyone were to catch you doing it.
When using a POA always carry the original with you as well as some copies. You will find that even some senior staff at banks do not understand what you can do using a POA. Ask for the manager if they refuse to let you use the POA for a transaction and have a card from your lawyer if there is still a problem. With one bank I eventually had their HQ make a PDF copy, add it to the files of different bank accounts with some additional notes and if a problem arose I could ask the counter staff to contact HQ who would then tell them to do whatever I required as if I was the account holder myself. If you have a bank account in Thailand then you understand how what you can do at one branch can be refused by staff at another. If you find one member of staff who understands the issues then only deal with them as otherwise you are going to be spending a lot of time explaining things again and again.
Regarding a will. I always try to get a good price for most things but I wouldn't be bargaining very much for a will. It's too important an issue and a good lawyer will be able to raise issues you may never have thought of that will help prevent problems down the track.
Posted 2008-05-21 13:17:03
At your Father's request - most Credit Card Issuing Banks
will issue a Card to you for use on your Father's Account.
Edited by WilliamIV, 2008-05-21 13:17:38.
Posted 2008-05-21 16:20:29
"Once a person dies then a POA can no longer be used. To continue to use one is fraud if anyone were to catch you doing it."
aware of this and therefore the 'will'. POA will only be used for consulate services.
"At your Father's request - most Credit Card Issuing Banks
will issue a Card to you for use on your Father's Account.
That sounds like the best thing to do re: his monthly immigration deposit requirements.
Today, I did some phone shopping to compare fees for my 'simple' legal needs [POA and will]....using the attorney list of English speaking attorneys provided by the US consulate and was amazed by the range of fee charges for the same doccuments and also amazed by the lack of english skills. Is there a 'bar exam' here in LOS?? or can anyone call themselves an attorney? and charge whatever they want?
Thanks all for your inputs.
Posted 2008-05-29 10:39:55
After comming up against many brick walls regarding getting myself added on my father's US bank accounts and the extra hastle and expense of getting POA [on a yearly basis] for US cousulate, I'm thinking that the easiest thing that my father can do at this point is to fulfill Thai immigration requirements of 800kbhatt [he is 70% there already] and then we don't have to deal with the POA.
As for the bank account, I did hear from an English speaking bank manager that I could be added as an additional signitor, and will confirm soon.
Is my new plan do-able?/ any faults or loopholes??
Posted 2008-05-29 11:14:07
Authority to sign would not be valid after the Account Holders death.
You need to change to a Joint account mandate (either or Survivor).
Posted 2008-05-29 11:46:13
But will a joint account be ok for his retirement visa requirements?? It seems that I heard they wouldn't accept joint accounts.
Posted 2008-05-29 12:17:18
My husband and I each have our own retirement visa and we have a joint bank account. Immigration requires us to have 1,600,000 baht . They look at it as each of us owning 1/2 of the account. I am now looking into going the pension and bank account combination when we extend our visas. Since we receive different amounts of pensions it will be interesting to see what they will require for the bank account. Just an amount that would bring our combined pensions and bank account up to the 1,600,000. Or whether they truly divide the account in half. That would mean we would have to put enough in the bank account to divide in half and cover the smallest pension.
Posted 2008-05-29 12:43:58
In my case, I qualify and am on a supporting spouse/family visa......wouldn't that be considered separate?
I just want to qualify my father as simply and legally as possible and to insure that his assets [thai bank acct] don't get lost in beaurocracy.........
Posted 2008-08-28 22:38:03
Here's a short response to all this:
1. Do it right. Don't "take short cuts." Don't hassle a good lawyer a couple thousand bhat!
2. POAs should be specific. General is not acceptable. Also, POAs don't cross international boundaries. They are, of course, void when a person dies. Want to make sure it is workable? Take a draft where you anticipate its being used, like the bank.
3. Having two wills, one for Thailand to take care of affairs there and one for a home country is legal and desirable. Obviously, they should not contradict one another.
4. There is no trust law in Thailand so do not mention a trust in another country in a Thai will. It will void a Thai will.
5. Read Thai Law for Foreigners. It won't answer all your questions, but you'll have a great idea about what questions to ask. Also, the Thai Civil and Commercial Code is published on the Internet in English.
Posted 2008-08-29 12:59:14
Setting your dad's US accounts to POD (Payable-on-Death) should be easy - unless, of course, they want your dad to set-up in person.....
Plenty of info on Google re PODs
Don't know if this would work in Thailand.
Oh, POD accounts are NOT subject to probate.
Edited by JimGant, 2008-08-29 13:02:06.