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What does “per stirpes” mean

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Estate Planning |

“Per stirpes” is a description you may hear during the estate planning process. This term refers to how your estate will be distributed if the relatives benefiting from your estate pass away before you do. If you live in Texas and are planning your will, here are some more important things to know about how per stirpes works.

Defining per stirpes

“Per stirpes” is a Latin term that means “by branch” or “by roots.” The term refers to the beneficiaries of your estate, such as your children or grandchildren, and what will happen if these people precede you in death. In estate planning, your per stirpes clause should explain which assets you leave to your descendants.

Per stirpes is often applied in a will when it comes to grandchildren. For instance, if you have three children and one of them passes away before you, the children of your late child would inherit the part of your estate that you originally designated for their parent.

Additional considerations

When it comes to estate planning, it’s important to know the difference between “per stirpes” and “per capita.” If you have two children and have arranged for each of your children to have one half of your estate, your grandchildren will not receive anything from your estate while their parents are living according to per stirpes.

However, if one of your children passes away before you, their half of the estate will be awarded, in entirety, to their own children. The portion of your estate reserved for your child will be divided evenly among the grandchildren. If you prefer that your will is “per capita,” this means that each of your family members will be awarded an equal share of your estate.