Investment should be increased & fees should be lowered in Probate Registry

The Society has continued to lobby for a better resourced probate registry as the transition to a new fully electronic filing system gets underway. The Society, informed by its Succession Law Committee, has expressed concern about the potential backlog build-up as a consequence of the six-week closure of the probate registry as it transitions to an electronic courts file management system, known as “CourtsSA”. The Society has also, via direct communication with the State Government and via the media, highlighted the exceptionally high cost of probate in SA compared to other jurisdictions.

The Society welcomes the introduction of a new “paperless” system but maintains that the probate registry needs extra investment to operate efficiently and that fees should be reviewed and set at a much fairer level.
Note: The Society understands that fees will not be retained within the registry for applications that are not processed before 23 November, and the only practitioners who may lose fees are those who have failed to respond to requisitions outstanding over months and years, and only then if they can’t give a satisfactory reason for the delay in responding. 

The Society sought clarification on this after initial advice suggested that probate applications lodged before 15 October that could not be completed before 23 November may attract a double fee (i.e. a fee payable upon lodgement before 15 October and an additional fee upon re-lodgement in CourtsSA).  The Society welcomes the advice that in almost all circumstances, fees will not be duplicated.

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