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Survivor benefit for Thai wife who lives in Thailand?


KhunFred

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This question has probably been asked numerous times, but I cannot locate any reference to the question. Due to medical bills and other expenses, I should be virtually penniless when I die. My wife (and to a great extent, her family) has been wonderful to me, during my illness and she does not expect anything from any agency and seems happy to take care of me, since I have made her life much better in a number of ways, (monetary and otherwise). Still, I want to leave her something if I can. We both live in Thailand and have no intention of ever leaving. I there any kind of payment, (one-time, or otherwise) that she would be entitled to ?  I should have been planning for this eventuality many years earlier, but didn't. I would appreciate a serious answer, without lectures on "personal responsibility". Thank you all for the fine efforts on answering questions from those of us with various complex problems,

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How can anyone answer without details of your nationality and any pensions and such you/she receive?  We do not even know if your spouse is the same nationality as you or is Thai.  

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1 minute ago, lopburi3 said:

How can anyone answer without details of your nationality and any pensions and such you/she receive?  We do not even know if your spouse is the same nationality as you or is Thai.  

Whilst I agree with you, it does say "Thai wife"  in the title.

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3 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Whilst I agree with you, it does say "Thai wife"  in the title.

eeer yes.  Not the first time have been caught out on that - we tend to read posts by themselves.  ☹️🙂

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Khun Fred,

If by chance you are an American, please PM me with more details about your age, how long married, if you served in the U.S. military or not, and if you currently collect SS or any other pension.  In that case, I would be glad to share with you what I know and who to contact to find out more. 

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4 hours ago, lopburi3 said:

How can anyone answer without details of your nationality and any pensions and such you/she receive?  We do not even know if your spouse is the same nationality as you or is Thai.  

And is there any property in Thailand or elsewhere?

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1 minute ago, Hummin said:

If married x years, pention, have insurance, she would have something if you should pack up and leave this planet. Interesting tread. 

A little more detail would be helpful.

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If American, go directly to the US Social Security Administration site.  Very clear.  Also there you will find contact information for further questions.  Better than second-hand advice.  As indicated in Post #5 above, there are other considerations and places to check.

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1 hour ago, scorecard said:

A little more detail would be helpful.

Every country and insurance have different terms, and some countries and insurances doesnt give anything. So, all dependes what he have and where he is from. 

 

If he want to leave here something, then a piece of land in her name, would be the nicest and best. 

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Well since you aren't allowed to own any property in Thailand you can assume that land in her name will stay in her name. I don't know about your retirement but mine required me to list my beneficiary. Originally it was my first wife. When I got divorced I changed it to my kids. When I remarried I changed it to my Thai wife. I don't see where there is a problem. Make your bank account a joint account and she will have no trouble getting any money you have there. In the mean time you could be purchasing bars of gold for investment and when you croak she can cash them in or not.

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10 minutes ago, Kurtf said:

Make your bank account a joint account and she will have no trouble getting any money you have there.

Actually have seen reports that account can be frozen even if joint until assists judgement is made so she probably should have her own account with sufficient funds for wake and several months living untel legal matters are settled.  

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2 hours ago, BarnicaleBob said:

Khun Fred,

If by chance you are an American, please PM me with more details about your age, how long married, if you served in the U.S. military or not, and if you currently collect SS or any other pension.  In that case, I would be glad to share with you what I know and who to contact to find out more. 

Well, if you served in the military anytime except between the Vietnam War and the First Iraqi War.  If you served during those dates exclusively, you're s**t out of luck as the US barely recognizes you as a 'real' veteran. 
And your foreigner wife isn't getting anything from Social Security either unless she has establish residence in the US.  She won't be recognized as a your 'survivor' if she is a run-of-the-mill Thai native who has never left the country such as my wife.  She's simply a non-entity with an ITIN. 

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28 minutes ago, Kurtf said:

Well since you aren't allowed to own any property in Thailand you can assume that land in her name will stay in her name. I don't know about your retirement but mine required me to list my beneficiary. Originally it was my first wife. When I got divorced I changed it to my kids. When I remarried I changed it to my Thai wife. I don't see where there is a problem. Make your bank account a joint account and she will have no trouble getting any money you have there. In the mean time you could be purchasing bars of gold for investment and when you croak she can cash them in or not.

2

As others have stated depends on his country and pension. You said you changed your's 3 times  and you can leave an insurance benefit to just about anybody but a pension is a different story. Social Security Survivor benefits (from USA) can only be left to a spouse (legally married ) unless one has children under 22 yo. I am not positive but I think US  SS rules have been recently changed so that a spouse designated to receive a pension must have lived in the US for at least 5 years in order to be eligible.  Other countries and private/company pension plans have different rules. If he owns any property/assets in another country then he needs a will drawn up.

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Unless SSA rules change, as of now the only way your wife would be eligible for survivor benefits is if you and she had resided in the US for a minimum of 5 years during your marriage.  SSA has a burial benefit, but I'm not sure if even that can be claimed. As to your state pension, you would need to contact the administrator for answers. But most pensions only provide survivor benefits if when filing for retirement, you selected the option of taking reduced monthly benefits, so your spouse could receive payments after your death. 

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It's not much help posting suggestions based on speculation. If the OP wants solid advice he needs to give more details such as nationality, pensions, details of residency and of marriage, local circumstances (has he or his wife worked locally and accrued any benefits, for example) and so on. 

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My Thai wife (formally married over 10yrs) is entitled to receive 67% of my Australian Superannuation so long as marriage documents etc are notorised here by the embassy, along with her Thai ID and passport etc .

The "governors" of the superannuation scheme have to be convinced that she is a legally entitled wife under their rules.

 

She does not have to reside in Australia but must have a bank account there in her name (or our joint names). They will only pay the "pension" into an Australian bank.This includes me.

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20 minutes ago, orchidfan said:

My Thai wife (formally married over 10yrs) is entitled to receive 67% of my Australian Superannuation so long as marriage documents etc are notorised here by the embassy, along with her Thai ID and passport etc .

The "governors" of the superannuation scheme have to be convinced that she is a legally entitled wife under their rules.

 

She does not have to reside in Australia but must have a bank account there in her name (or our joint names). They will only pay the "pension" into an Australian bank.This includes me.

67 % for how long? If his wife is 30, then? She have pension until she dies? I know most contries who have minimum years marriage to optain pantion, and also limited to x years. 

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22 minutes ago, Hummin said:

67 % for how long? If his wife is 30, then? She have pension until she dies? I know most contries who have minimum years marriage to optain pantion, and also limited to x years. 

Sounds like a government scheme.

 

It will be payable until her death.

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45 minutes ago, orchidfan said:

My Thai wife (formally married over 10yrs) is entitled to receive 67% of my Australian Superannuation so long as marriage documents etc are notorised here by the embassy, along with her Thai ID and passport etc .

The "governors" of the superannuation scheme have to be convinced that she is a legally entitled wife under their rules.

 

She does not have to reside in Australia but must have a bank account there in her name (or our joint names). They will only pay the "pension" into an Australian bank.This includes me.

It would be good if you could get her a TFN or she will be crucified by the ATO.

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5 minutes ago, Will27 said:

It would be good if you could get her a TFN or she will be crucified by the ATO.

Yes. Will look into that. Might be necessary although she'll probably still be taxed as a non resident for tax purposes. I'll ask the scheme administrator.

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