per stirpes

Definition

A method for distributing the estate of a deceased individual.

Per stirpes (which is Latin for "per branch") specifies that each branch of the deceased person's family receives an equal share of the estate, regardless of how many people are in that branch.

For example, if A and B are the children of the deceased, but B is also deceased leaving children C, D, E, F and G (the grandchildren of the original person), then A would receive one half of the estate and each of B's 5 children would receive one-tenth of the estate (essentially, they are dividing B's half).

Per stirpes is different from per capita, because per capita weighs each person equally, rather than each branch equally.

Use per stirpes in a sentence

The estate of a deceased individual is distributed per stirpes if each part of the family is going to receive an equal portion of the estate or inheritance.

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