The government has set a new maximum charge of £250 for any estates that exceed £50,000 ($66,000, €60,000). This is down from a previous maximum of £8,000 for estates of over £1m and an existing range of charges from £1,000 up to £4,000 for estates of over £125,000.
In 2013 the Isle of Man had increased all its probate fees from a maximum £650 to £7,500 for estates of over £1m and more recently raised the maximum to £8,000 with no distinction between resident and non-resident applications.
This compared unfavourable with other jurisdictions, including the UK, where there is currently a single cost of £155 for estates above £5,000, and Ireland, where a fee of €606 is payable on the first €300,000, increasing by €24 for every additional €31,250.
Canada Life International said it had held a number of discussions with the Manx government to raise their concerns on the high costs of probate charges.
In a statement the company said its concerns had focused on the potential impact this could have on future new business levels to Manx insurers, in a market where policyholders have a choice of jurisdiction to invest in an international bond.
Sean Christian, executive director for Canada Life’s international businesses welcomed the new, lower probate charges saying they sent a very positive message for UK policyholders and for the Isle of Man’s status as an international financial centre where many non-domiciled investors hold assets.
“We were concerned at the recent hike in probate costs and are very pleased that the government has listened to our concerns and has introduced the new rates.
“This move underlines the competitiveness of the Isle of Man as a stable, low cost jurisdiction to do business and is a glowing example of the unique partnership that exists between Isle of Man businesses and government to ensure the Island remains an efficient and effective place to do business.”