Probate being granted twice to different people

+1 vote
My great uncle George William Pearse married in 1911 and died two months later. Probate was granted in 1912 to his widow Sybil Pearse. In 1914 probate was granted again to his brother Dr Robert Edward Franklyn Pearse although the amount was greatly reduced. I have not come across this before and would be glad of an explanation. Thanks

Valerie Crowley
WikiTree profile: George Pearse
in Genealogy Help by Valerie Crowley G2G6 Mach 1 (13.9k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

I can't explain it, but I can note that I, too, have recently encountered a double-probate.

What I THINK happened in my case was the man wrote a Will leaving his estate to his wife/widow. She died not long after first probate.  I THINK there must have been a clause allowing for her death, in which case the estate then went to the children.  (I have been unable to access the entire Will, just what the probate record says.)

Perhaps this is the case for your person, too.

Your George Pearse's probate notice does state "further grant Feb 1914", so I would guess the widow died between times.

I take it back about died. I think there must have been a clause regards "if she dies, or marries again" then the estate was to pass.

Adeline M B Pearse married Percy C S Woodruff in the March Quarter of 1913, reg district Steyning.

You'll need to change her name to Adeline, with Sybil being a nickname (or preferred name) .. as I think "Sybil" comes from her last name of Sibley/Sibly.
Thank you Melanie, I think you're right. I have found Adeline's death in 1913 however didn't think George had enough sense to enter a remarriage clause in his will !!

I think, too, her LNAB will need to change to Sibley --with an e -as that's what the birth and marriage registrations are under.
Thank you Melanie, I think you're right. I have found Adeline's death in 1913 however didn't think George had enough sense to enter a remarriage clause in his will !!



Was just about to post about the death.  My goodness, this is some bad luck family.  First she marries and the husband died within a couple of months.  Then she marries a second time and SHE dies within a couple of months! surprise 

Adeline also has a double probate, so I will check to see if Percy Woodruff died soon after. surprise

In Adeline's case, the double probate wasn't because Percy also died, so there must have been another reason.

First probate has Percy getting £941 10s 10d.  The second has  £926 18s 11d going to Clara Matilda Reynolds, wife of Henry William Reynolds. 

Percy Charles Simpson Woodruff (born 18 June 1896, Brighton, mother's last name Sargent) married a Lillian Foreman in the Sept Qtr 1920, Reg Dist Amesbury, Wiltshire.   Percy died Dec Qtr 1983, Worthing Reg Dist, West Sussex.

There may have been a child, as there was a Herbert Pearse, mother's last name Sibley, born in Hull in the September quarter of 1910.  Maybe he was the reason they got married?  And maybe that's why they got married in Huntingdonshire and not Hull.  It would be worth checking out, in any case.

In the 1881 census there was a household servant named Ann Reynolds.  (This was when Thomas Pearse was alive and  head of the household.)  She was not there in 1901, and I cannot find 1891's census.  I wonder if she is related to the Henry William Reynolds whose wife was the secondary beneficiary of Adeline/Sybil's effects.

Many thanks Melanie, you have worked hard and I will follow up on your suggestions. What a can of worms!

A remarriage cancels an existing will unless it is stated to be made "in contemplation" of the specific remarriage.  In contemplation of remarriage generally is not sufficient.

1 Answer

+1 vote
Had the appointed executor died?  If there were still unadministered assets, a new administrator would be needed.  That would explain why the estate was smaller. Another scenario is a will that appoints several executors, but some don't want to be appointed immediately.  I would need full details to give a specific answer, but it can certainly happen.
by Doug Laidlaw G2G6 Mach 1 (12k points)
Thank you Doug,

I have sent for a copy of the will and may well get back to you on this one. Thanks again

Is a copy of the second probate parchment available? It may say why a second grant was needed.
Have had trouble getting these wills so will have to put them on the back burner until I can sort it out. Thank you for your help.


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