Definition– Per-stirpes is Latin for “by roots,” and refers to every person down a family tree beginning from another person. Under this system, eeach branch of the family is to receive an equal share of an estate. If an heir in the first generation of a branch predeceases the decedent, the share will be distributed among that heir’s children in equal shares.
Per stirpes means that every child you have will receive an equal share of your estate when you die. If one of your children dies before you, leaving children (your grandchildren), your grandchildren will receive the equal portion of the estate that your deceased child would have received.
Tom is a widower with three children: Debbie, Al, and Paul. Debbie dies, leaving two children, Sarah and Dennis. If Tom divides his estate among his issue in equal shares per stirpes, all of Tom’s children and grandchildren are entitled to a share of his estate.