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Thailand to give free advice to foreign retirees

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Thailand to step up its assistance to foreign retirees and their Thai spouses by providing free advice on inheritance and other legal issues under international law.

This support is provided by the Office of International Peoples’ Rights Protection, which is under the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

The kingdom has become a popular destination for foreign retirees to spend the rest of their days enjoying the advanced health care system, low cost of living, good weather and of course the “culture”.

In cases where the foreign retiree tends to marry a Thai spouse, they may face problems such as inheritance issues when they divorce or their spouse dies.

In order to avoid such undesirable matters, the OAG will now offer a free advisory service, said Charkrawan Saengkhae, the executive director of the above-mentioned office.

In addition to inheritance issues, they can discuss matters related to the nationality of their children, conscription for male descendants and domestic violence.

As a basic rule, Charkrawan is that all healthy men with Thai citizenship residing in Thailand must report to a conscript officer upon reaching the age of 20.

“Most Thais don’t realize that our regulations prohibit children born in the kingdom from having multiple nationalities.

The Nationality Act states that when they turn 20, they have to decide whether they want to keep their Thai citizenship or not.”

OAG’s Artra Khunthongjan said adding foreign spouses is more likely to bring their adopted children or stepchildren back to their home country before they reach this age.

“Many foreigners have asked the Consular Affairs Department for help in many cases. We have also provided assistance in case of deaths or traffic accidents, and have also transferred cases to their country of origin,” added Mr. Artra.

The OAG’s Tippiroon Suwannakul referred to a 2019 case when the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service asked the office to search for a tourist who had gone missing on Koh Samui because his wife also had inheritance issues. The office asked a local court to grant her the rights she needed to resolve this, she said.

 “We do not provide assistance to Thais living in other countries, but we do provide assistance to foreigners in Thailand in accordance with international human rights laws and related human rights treaties,” Tippiroon said.

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