1. Money

Per Capita

By

Definition: Taking by total head count or total number of individuals.

The common usage in wills and trusts is "to my then living descendants, per capita." If you have two children and five grandchildren who survive you, then each will receive a 1/7 share. Or, if you have two children and five children and one child predeceases you and all others survive you, then the surviving child and grandchildren will each receive a 1/6 share.

Contrast this to "per stirpes," or by representation: "to my then living descendants, per stirpes." In the above example with two children and five grandchildren who survive you, if they take per stirpes then the children will each receive a 1/2 share and the grandchildren will receive nothing. If, however, one of the children predeceases you and is the parent of three of the grandchildren, then the surviving child will receive a 1/2 share and each child of the deceased child will receive a 1/6 share (in other words, the children of the deceased child will receive the deceased child's 1/2 share divided equally among the three of them: 1/2 divided by 3 = 1/6 each).

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