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per stirpes


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[Latin: by the roots]

According to descent. When property in an estate or fund is distributed per stirpes, beneficiaries a generation removed from the primary class of beneficiaries receive between them the share attributable to their ancestor. For example, a will may leave property to A and B in equal shares with provision that if either predeceases the testator, the deceased beneficiary's children take his share in equal shares per stirpes. If, on the testator's death, both A and B have already died, A leaving two children and B three, A's children will each receive a quarter of the property, and B's children one-sixth each. Compare per capita.

Subjects: Law.


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