The following Wills & Probate Q&A Produced in partnership with Lynne Counsell of 9 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This question deals with the situation where a claimant dies after commencing proceedings under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975). The question is whether the estate has any defence to a claim for costs by the executors of the estate that was formerly being sued. Must the claimant’s estate pay the litigation costs on discontinuance or dismissal of the proceedings?
The general common law rule was that a personal action died with that person. However, a number of specific provisions deal with the death of a litigant or potential litigant:
section 1(1) of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 provides that any cause of action existing at the date of an individual’s death survives either for the benefit of or against their estate
section 15 of the Trustee Act 1925 allows personal representatives (PRs) to settle claims and submit to arbitration
CPR 19.8 provides that where a person who had an interest in a claim has died and that person has no PRs the court may order: (a) the claim to proceed in the absence of a person representing the estate of the deceased, or (b) a person to be appointed to represent the estate of the deceased. In the case of an intestacy, the proceedings will still be a nullity if they are issued prior
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