TRAZ57

Dying At Home In Chiang Mai

49 posts in this topic

Ajarn.... you mentioned 5 years ..... way back in a early post.. Are you still with us???? I do Hope So

G

Alas not Gonzo

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A much belated thank you for that TP. While it , no doubt, is one of the more important threads on the forum, it is not one to which I tend to visit very often. Just the topic I guess. But is there any further information on the passing of Ajarn, or is it posted in the Page of Remembrance thread. I try and not visit that one too often also, fearful maybe, of seeing my own name.

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Thanks for the report. It is nice to know what is going to happen to me in about 5 years. smile.gif

Ajarn, just wondering how your doing ? all is well ?

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ID: 32   Posted (edited)

I'm really glad that it works out like this. I recently had read something that was kind of scary and this is very reassuring. thank you thank you thank you.

Edited by maewang99

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A much belated thank you for that TP. While it , no doubt, is one of the more important threads on the forum, it is not one to which I tend to visit very often. Just the topic I guess. But is there any further information on the passing of Ajarn, or is it posted in the Page of Remembrance thread. I try and not visit that one too often also, fearful maybe, of seeing my own name.

Ajarn took his own life about 5 years after he said "that will be me in 5 years". I knew him quite well he had a lot of personal problems towards the end of his life. There was a long thread running about it as he posted on T V that he was intending to take his own life...and he did!!

RIP Larry, a guy who spent 20 years in CM after sticking a pin in the map of the world and the pin stuck in Chiang Mai

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There are many expats with Thai families that have/may have members in a terminal state that can not afford McKean.   What are some other resources in Chiangmai?  

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2 hours ago, noise said:

There are many expats with Thai families that have/may have members in a terminal state that can not afford McKean.   What are some other resources in Chiangmai?  

I'm not familiar with resources and services available for Thai people who are covered by various Thai gov't programs, agencies, care homes, etc.  There are indeed resources.  They could start by contacting the well-regarded Chiang Mai based Foundation for the Development of Older Persons  http://fopdev.or.th/ for referrals to local Thai resources.

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ID: 39   Posted (edited)

I'm afraid to find out.... what if it is a US citizen, any more strict?  i.e. US consulate must be informed and what they will request from police... but especially..... where there are no legal Thai relatives..... i.e. the deceased's spouse is his or her spouse in real life but not the legal one of record because of complications such as multiple jurisdictions for divorce plus things on top of that as well... had a post a few years ago and was too scared to look at the posts. 

 

the law for the USA is to look for a relative in the last state the deceased lived in.... which for most of us Americans means where we most recently were hanging onto some job... they will be looking for mine quite a long while if that is what they are required to do, and they are... and of course another US law prohibits ANY public funds to be used to transport or do anything maybe with the dead body until they do that (US law nothing to do with Brits)......   plus the autopsy is required unless... don't know the real answer to that one... or a firm one.  in the mean time I am waiting for next visit to US Consulate to ask there... gulp.

 

when we're dead there are still things that matter to us....quite a bit.... especially if we don't believe we even get to hang around a little while as a ghost or anything else.

Edited by maewang99

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ID: 40   Posted (edited)

Maewang, sorry but a few of your comments are confusing to me.  I'd note:

(1)  If a US citizen wonders what involvement (not all that significant) the consulate/embassy has upon the death of the US citizen, go to the consulate/embassy website and read about it. 

(2)  Upon death of a US citizen here in CM, the consulate is notified and will start the process of looking for what they call the next-of-kin; however, if you have a  Will which names an executor, the consulate will indeed honor that choice and deal with that person (of course, they'll need to see the Will to determine that...and it's possible they'll ask for a translated version if your Will is in Thai).  A US passport has a page where one fills in info for an emergency contact and, absent seeing an apparently valid Will that says otherwise, that's who the consulate will contact first.  One can also enroll online with what's called the STEP program and include your emergency contact info there.  In other words, it's rather easy to help the consulate figure out who to contact should the US citizen die here.

(3)  The consulate does not have anything to do with requesting an autopsy.  The Thai police or medical officer on scene will often request one if a foreigner dies outside a hospital and/or if there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.  The next-of-kin, of course, can also request that an autopsy be done.

(4) Normally a hospital having possession of a deceased US citizen will request a release letter from the consulate before allowing the body to leave the hospital morgue. The consulate will give that okay as soon as they have identified the person with authority noted in #2 above and then the person with authority can take care of cremation or whatever after (typically) paying all the hospital bills to date.  

 

It's not all that complicated and one can sometimes save the consulate and others some hassle by simply filling in the emergency contact info in your passport, enrolling in the STEP program, and/or making and keeping a Will. 

Edited by CMBob
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MaeWang99, CMBob is correct in what he says.  I suggest you download the document I referenced in post Number 34, above and read it carefully.  As Bob said, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure your Next-of-Kin is notified of your death.  If you download and read the document in Post no. 34 you'll learn the circumstances when an autopsy requested.  

 

And, let me read between the lines of your post a little bit.  Forgive me if I'm wrong.  If you have a "common law" wife in Thailand but didn't bother to divorce your previous wife in the U.S., then I suggest you hire a Thai lawyer to write a Final Will that protects the interests of your "common law" Thai "wife" or your Thai "wife" may discover that your lawful U.S. wife is coming here to rightfully claim her estate, which may include your condo, vehicles, bank accounts, etc.  There is no such thing as a "common law" wife in Thai law and the U.S. Consulate AND the Thai authorities will be fully cooperative in helping your long-lost U.S. wife claim her assets.  You can prevent all this by leaving them to your "common law" Thai partner via a properly executed Final Will.

 

And let me add, that if you're U.S. military veteran, even one who served for as little as a few years, during a wartime period like Vietnam or the Gulf war, you could be cheating your Thai partner out of a widows pension for life of over $700 per month by not legally marrying her.  Few U.S. widows know about, much less claim this pension, because they earn more than $700 per month, but Thai widows don't.  NOTE:  The VA will find out if you're still married in the U.S. when you married her in Thailand if you go that route.  I've seen some poor Thai widows learn their marriage was a sham from a VA letter, when they applied for the widow's pension after the death of their "husband".  Talk about devastating.  

 

 

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Did she inform her embassy about her death wishes beforehand ? i was thinking that if you did not leave prior instructions, would the body be returned to native country ? at great expense for family, 

cheers songhklasid.

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The Next-of-Kin will give instructions to the Embassy about the disposition of the final remains.  In general, Embassies encourage cremation here and repatriation of the cremated remains.

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Have often wondered about dying here. Been to many funerals but never put one together. Thanks much for the invaluable information! 

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On 5/29/2009 at 5:57 AM, caznshaz said:

This sort of post is very helpful - thank you very much and please accept my condolences.

yes, thank you for posting real world details. 

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Firstly I must echo Nancy's comments on the McKean Centre. Prices start at (around) 32,000 Baht per month. Of course everyone's  needs are different AND prices vary accordingly, BUT, if one is cognizant and able to express their wishes - many will know (Certainly my friend did), that remaining at home was an unacceptable burden on the person  who cared & loved the person.

 

We have a Thai friend in a "San Sai" palliative care centre - His family pay 34,000 Baht per month for his care. Being Thai and "local", they hunted for a cost effective solution to home care - hiring nurses 24/7 did not work for them.

 

Note, that in both cases - (Thai, Non Thai) drugs are not included in the prices quoted. MANY enterprising partners of terminally ill persons can "source" expensive drugs, from the families of recently deceased persons. I know from experience, it can save considerable sums of money. Whilst it may seem distasteful, to some doing this, it is often a "win - win" situation for the terminally ill person AND the partner of a deceased person - FINANCIALLY.

 

Other things happen after death and can be quite draining on the "bereaved" - but need to be done.

 

<SNIP>I had to go to immigration to cancel <deceased> visa. Speak to British Embassy to get <deceased> passport cancelled. Apparently these are urgent items to get sorted.

 

I am in the process of getting Thai & English death certificates certified. I went to City Hall this morning (Twice) for them to finish off the process. I go back Monday to collect the papers.

 

Yesterday I posted off <deceased> UK driving license to get that cancelled. There are a few things like that, that I still need to do - need to look at my list of actions. <END>

 

These last weeks have been draining saying our final goodbye's - If I am to go, whilst here in Thailand, I hope the McLean centre has room for me in my final days..

 

One last thought, re drugs to keep terminally ill patients comfortable - "it may exist but I have never heard of it" IT WOULD BE NICE, if expat's had an acceptable repository, where drugs could be "donated" by the families of the deceased - to assist those less fortunate. Given the potential for abuse and legalities, something like this could be difficult - but would not be impossible?

 

 

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All good points, MalandLee, but I think the use of others' prescription drugs (unless handled through a pharmacist who knew exactly which drug was what) would be problematic and impossible.  And it could be illegal here (as it is in the US) for anybody to have possession of a controlled substance without a prescription in that person's name.

 

The only thing you mention that I wouldn't do is bother with any driving licenses....at least ones issued here or in the US.  While it might be smart to destroy same so nobody else could use them (I'd probably retain a photo of any licenses just in case the information is ever needed), the licenses will expire on their own eventually and probably not worth the time to deal with them.  I've never heard of any requirement to deal with those licenses after death although perhaps the UK has different regulations about that.

 

 

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You are probably correct Bob on the drug front. However, the "trade" does exist. Sadly because I am not sure of the legalities, I prefer not to expand what I know. I can say, there is a myriad of checks and ALL drugs are dispensed to the patient, on the order of a doctor and in the case of my friend, "FULL Doctor supervised pain management" was top notch. THERE WAS NO, (nor was there EVER) any SELF MEDICATION. I prefer not to say more.

 

My guess is members of each "tribe" that chooses to call Thailand their home, will have different requirements after a tribal member is deceased. I am an Aussie, would not have a clue what is needed after I depart this world, however, my (deeply bereaved) friends partner, has reminded me I must try and make the transition for my beautiful wife as seamless as possible - I will endeavour to do that.

 

We NEVER dwell on death, but, some practical steps have been taken. We have a will, plus an encrypted document, password protected, containing ALL known passwords, banking, insurance, etc... PLUS as much info as could possibly be needed to smooth out the bumps. Minimal but practical, I know.

 

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