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LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7069
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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Just wondering what per stirpes means and who it pertains

Customer Question

just wondering what per stirpes means and who it pertains to. my father is deceased and was an only child. my grandmother is in the hospital/99yrs old. there are 4 grandchildren, my father's window and her son. does per stirpes pertain to us all or my grandmother's blood kin?
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: texas
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: no not that I'm aware of.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 4 months ago.

My sympathies for your family's situation.

There are 2 terms;

per stirpes ("by roots" or by representation) and per capita ("by heads")

So basically, say decedent has 2 children, a son and a daughter. Son has 2 children (grandchildren)

The estate plan provides for "per stirpes" division of property. Son predeceases parent, so daughter gets 50% of inheritance, and son's children divide son's inheritance equally.

In contrast, for per capita, say there is the same scenario. The 2 grandchildren and the daughter would equally share, so each would get 1/3 of the inheritance.

While a party is free to devise as they wish, per stirpes tends to be more common.

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