Have you got ‘Per Stirpes’ or ‘Per Capita’ in your Will?

General, Wills

Have you got ‘Per Stirpes’ or ‘Per Capita’ in your Will?

Yes I know, the first one sounds a bit like a disease, but they are in fact both latin phrases often found in Wills. Why use them you might ask? probably to simplify the explanation to the professional using the Will after death but with the unintended and expected consequences to the owner.. confusion!

Per stirpes is far more common and means ‘by root’ so ‘to those of my descendants who survive me in equal shares per stirpes’. If say there are three children alive they would each get a third, but if one died before me and had say 2 children, each of them would get a sixth.

Contrast per stirpes with per capita, which means ‘by total headcount’ would be ‘to those of my grandchildren who survive me in equal shares per capita’ and the estate would go to however many there are alive in equal shares.

If you would like a Will written in modern language please get in touch, contact us here.

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