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How old is the debt?
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In the event that a defendant dies, the claim will generally proceed against the estate of that person and be dealt with by the executors of their estate.
Who you claim against now will depend on what has happened so far with probate. Civil Procedure Rule 19.8 deals with this:
“Where a defendant against whom a claim could have been brought has died and –
(a) a grant of probate or administration has been made, the claim must be brought against the persons who are the personal representatives of the deceased;
(b) a grant of probate or administration has not been made –
(i) the claim must be brought against ‘the estate of’ the deceased; and
(ii) the claimant must apply to the court for an order appointing a person to represent the estate of the deceased in the claim.”
So it depends on whether probate has been issued as to which one of the two options above you go for now. In either case you would need to make an application to the court to amend the details of the respondent and also, if necessary, to make an order appointing a person to represent the estate.
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That is the exact wording of the CPR but it would cover existing claims as well, s what you would be doing is making an application to the court to amend the existing claim to reflect the requirements set out above