In English law the process of dealing with the estate of a deceased person involves three stages. First, a grant of representation must be obtained by the person or persons who are to undertake that process. This will be either a grant of probate to the executor or executors named in the deceased’s will, or a grant of administration to the person or persons entitled to such a grant under the prescribed rules. 1 Secondly, the personal representative to whom a grant has been made must proceed with the administration of the estate in the strict sense of that term. This will involve gathering in the assets of the deceased, selling them where appropriate, paying taxes due from the estate and discharging the debts of the deceased. 2 Thirdly, the personal representative will distribute the surplus remaining to those entitled under the rules of intestate succession or the deceased’s will or a combination of those rules and the will. The distinction between these stages is important because the applicable law may be different.