How do I bring a claim where probate or letters of administration have not been granted?

I’m acting for a local authority bringing a claim for unpaid council tax against a deceased person’s estate. They did not leave a will and no family member intends to apply for letters of administration. How do I proceed?

Under rule 19.8(2)(b)(ii) of the Civil Procedure Rules, you should issue the claim against “the personal representative of A.B. deceased” where you seek to begin proceedings against the estate of a deceased defendant where probate or letters of administration have not been granted.

Before the expiry of the period for service of the claim form, you should apply to the court for the appointment of a person to represent the estate of the deceased for the purpose of the claim and for the action to continue against that representative.

Paragraph 5.5 of Practice Direction 7A (How to start proceedings – the claim form) sets out this procedure.


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

Have you got a practice question?

Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email

The Practice Advice Service is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.