“Per Stirpes” Designations

“Per Stirpes” Designations

“Per stirpes” is a method of distributing shares of an estate where the share of a deceased named beneficiary is divided among a person’s descendants.

How it works

Per stirpes translates to “by branch” in Latin. In a will, there may be the following language: “I leave [insert possession] to my descendants, per stirpes.”

For example, assume you have two children each of whom has two children of their own. Assume your will says you leave your entire estate “to my children, equally.” Each of your children would receive 50% of your estate when you die. But if one of your two children dies before you do, and if your estate is to pass “per stirpes,” the deceased child’s share would pass to that deceased child’s two children who would share the deceased child’s share. Thus, the surviving child receives his or her 50% share and the surviving two children of the deceased child would each receive 25 % of your total estate.

This designation is important because it allows you to further control how your assets will be distributed in unforeseen circumstances. If a beneficiary passes away and you do not have time to make changes to your estate plan, you can use this designation to ensure your assets still pass on in accordance with your wishes.

For more information about estate planning terminology and strategies, contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.