A term to know.
A Latin term meaning "by the branch." In an estate planning context, property is distributed per stirpes if each branch of a family unit receives an equal share, regardless of the number of people in the branch. Thus a distribution per stirpes to children would be a distribution of one equal share (i) to each living child of a parent (regardless of the number of children of that child) and (ii) to the then living descendants of a deceased child. This term is distinguished from per capita, where all living members of a generation inherit equally. Within the context of a deceased child who has living children, this term is also known as "taking by right of representation."