Advice please, Thai funerals, UK Wills
I am hoping you can help please with some questions and issues I have.
My Father married a Thai lady, it was never a love thing but my Father failed to see that, this is not an opinion of mine, she as good as admitted it, but my Father was stubborn, never listened and also suffered a stroke prior to moving to Thailand so did not fully understand things.
Regardless, he moved to Thailand, prior to this, he purchased land over there, had a property built, rubber tree plantations etc. He also transferred a lot of money to his joint Thai bank account. In all they had the makings of a life where they would want or need for nothing. Towards the end he quiet often phoned and wanted to come home to the UK, but sadly he died on the operating table over there after suffering an aneurysm and massive blood loss.
The day after he died, his wife was on the phone to us, asking when she would be paid for the will! claiming poverty, to which we know was far from the case, other than the large lump sums he transferred before he moved, he also had over a £1000 a month paid as private pension.
The WILL, was stated that I receive half and she receives half etc.
She then sends info to the solicitor, failing to disclose bank accounts, and claiming vast amounts as hospital cost, ludicrous buffet cost and very large funeral bill, claiming she has no money.
Now I have some idea about funeral costs in Thailand, but want a more recent approximation. The funeral was open Pyre, it was not a grand affair as got the images sent over. He was just put on the back of an old pick up truck, half a dozen monks, probably maximum 20 to 30 people attended, if that. She claimed the affair cost £5900, £4000 of which buffet cost, which seeing the pictures, you could see it cost nothing near that, and also taking into consideration the cost of living in Thailand. Hospital cost was over £700. In a nutshell she is trying to claim as much as she can to get as much of the WILL as she can.
The solicitor over here has contacted the Thai bank, to which the bank has failed to respond.
It has been agreed that no part of the financial estate here in the UK will be distributed until we are happy, solicitor stating we may as both parties have to get further legal advice. Or have a Solicitor in Thailand too, this is not a good idea, fully aware of corruption, and not only that, it would then be the cost of two solicitors, translation and a whole host of other expenses, come the end, there would be nothing left financially.
My Fathers widow is out to fleece us, we just dont know what to do.
The estate is valued at 60k, not taking into consideration the joint asset's he had in Thailand, as it stands she is expecting 30k as well as the funeral/buffet & hospital costs, and will continue to get the pension.
I know not all Thai marriages are shams, this one unfortunately always was, she shafted my Father, I dont want to get shafted too.
Any advice would be greatly and urgently appreciated.
I don't know from personal experience about funeral costs in Thailand but I googled the following: http://notyourtypicalday.net/?p=1191
I'm sure you have already done the same.
I know you didn't ask for this sort of advice but respectfully, it was your father's life to live as he saw fit. If that includes making a mess of things towards the end; well, so be it. He was probably just trying to be happy in what little time he had left.
I'm sorry that you are hurting and I hope you feel better soon.
It must be tough to deal with his estate in a foreign country and I'm sure it is playing on your emotions at various levels.
No doubt that you are going to feel resentment towards his widow no matter what happens.
This might tick you off but it is only money. Try to come to an equitable solution but try not to feel so bad.
You asked for advice.
In your shoes I would have your UK solicitor contact your Embassy in Thailand requesting advice on a reliable Thai solicitor to handle your case in the Thailand courts.
Remove yourself as far as you can from the situation. All communications concerning this affair should be through your UK solicitor. Your Thai solicitor should report to your UK solicitor. Yes, the will be a large expense.
Try to forget about the issue and remember the good things concerning your father.
Legal issues are no win situations. Let the lawyers (solicitors) do there jobs. Try to minimize the impact of losing your father on you and your family.
It is not a case of I would or will always resent his Wife, I only resent as it was a sham marriage, if it was genuine, the marriage would have had my blessing. He met her in a bar in Phucket, he was over 60, she was 30, married within a week of meeting, she has made it clear that it was only ever about money, her only disappointment was he lived as long as he did.
Yes it is only money, but one there is a principle, two, he wanted his daughter to be financially ok, she is doing her best to fleece her out of that.
So far she fleeced my father, he purchased land, had a home built, grew rubber tree plantations, set her up in business, she is financially ok for life, she will not be happy until she has got everything if she has her way, something quite rightly I am not prepared to sit back and let happen.
It is not a simple case of it was my Fathers life to live as he see fit, he had suffered a stroke before heading to Thailand, so his decision making was tainted, many times shortly before passing he phoned stating he wanted to come back to the UK, sadly he never lived to do this. She was nice to him when they lived in the UK, as soon as they moved to Thailand, she turned and was nasty to him.
I have since found out that the funeral/buffet claims are definitely exaggerated.
I did consider the Thai solicitor option, but I think in the end, any estate would be swallowed up by the cost involved with having two solicitors.
It is doubtful there is an equitable amicable solution, The day after he died she was asking for the money, that speaks volumes, I cannot and will not let her win, but as with any situation, it is good to gather as much information and advice as possible from a multitude of sources.
You can call it a "sham" marriage. If the marriage was registered in Thailand and the United Kingdom recognizes marriages registered in Thailand, then by definition it is a marriage. True, valid and most importantly fully LEGAL.
Therefore, you are dealing with an international legal issue. So, unless you "lawyer up" your Thai mother-in-law will be able to secure most, if not all, of your deceased fathers assets.
If you lawyer up you may be able to enforce the will on an international level. Good Luck.
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